Robert Woodard II had a double-double as Mississippi State finished its season-opening homestand with a four-game sweep by defeating New Orleans 82-59 on Sunday afternoon in Starkville, Miss.
Woodard finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Reggie Perry added 14 points, D.J. Stewart Jr. came off the bench to score 13 and Iverson Molinar had 10 as the Bulldogs extended their nonconference home winning streak to 26 games.
Bryson Robinson and Troy Green each scored 14 points to lead the Privateers (1-3), who were the preseason favorites in the Southland Conference.
Mississippi State led by 10 points at halftime and took command at the start of the second half.
Tyson Carter started the second-half scoring with a jumper, then fed Woodard for a dunk. Perry made one free throw and Iverson made two free throws to complete a 7-0 run that gave the Bulldogs a 45-28 lead.
New Orleans scored its first points of the second half when Robinson made two free throws with 16:51 left.
Stewart later made a 3-pointer to push the lead to 20 before Robinson made the Privateers’ first basket of the second half on a layup with 15:05 left.
MSU led by as many as 30 points and finished with a 45-27 advantage in rebounding.
The Bulldogs, who led wire to wire in a 62-45 victory against Louisiana-Monroe last Thursday, had a tighter battle on their hands in the early going against the Privateers.
The score was tied eight times before Mississippi State took the lead for good at 21-19 on a layup by Woodward with 7:50 left in the half. That started a 7-0 run that was completed on a 3-pointer by Woodard.
The Bulldogs led by seven on two more occasions before Woodard made two free throws and a jumper to extend the lead to 36-25. MSU held a 38-28 lead at halftime.
Mississippi State goes on the road for the first time this season when it faces Tulane on Thursday in the first of three games in four days in the eight-team Myrtle Beach Invitational in Conway, S.C.
—Field Level Media