Reggie Perry posted his sixth double-double of the season — 26 points and 17 rebounds — to lead the host Mississippi State Bulldogs to a 96-68 win over the Kent State Golden Flashes on Monday night.
The game was the first time the schools had met in men’s basketball.
Perry, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound sophomore forward who had considered leaving for the NBA after last season, shot 8 of 16 from the floor and added three assists.
Bulldogs freshman guard Iverson Molinar came off the bench to score 16 points, making 5 of 5 shots from the floor, including both of his 3-point attempts. He also went 4 for 5 on free throws, added four assists and had just one turnover in a nearly flawless performance.
The Bulldogs (9-3) improved to 6-1 at home this season. They are seeking their third straight 20-win season, which hasn’t been accomplished since 2007-10.
Mississippi State starts its 18-game SEC schedule on Saturday against No. 8 Auburn.
Anthony Roberts, a 6-4 sophomore guard, led Kent State (10-3) with 16 points as the Golden Flashes had their two-game winning streak snapped. Junior Danny Pippen had 11 points, and senior guard Antonio Williams added 10.
Kent State raced to a 9-1 lead in the first three minutes. The Golden Flashes stretched their lead to 26-17 with 9:55 left in the first half.
Mississippi State took its first lead at 38-37 with 2:30 left in the first half on a Perry jumper. That was in the middle of a streak in which Perry scored seven straight points as Kent State was held scoreless.
By the end of the half, the Bulldogs had built a 45-39 lead, thanks in part to 14 points from Perry.
Mississippi State shot 60 percent from the field in the first half but missed all five of its 3-pointers. Kent State shot 50 percent from the floor, including 5 of 13 on 3-pointers (38.5 percent).
The second half was fairly easy for the Bulldogs, who shot 50 percent from the floor in the half and 55.4 percent for the game. The Bulldogs shot 38.5 percent on 3-pointers for the game (5 for 13) and won the rebound battle 40-28.
Mississippi State shot 62.5 percent from three-point range in the second half.
Kent State hit 41 percent from the floor in the game, including 6 for 23 on 3-pointers (26.1 percent).
—Field Level Media