Forward Reggie Perry scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Mississippi State slowly pulled away from Radford for a 77-68 nonconference win on Wednesday evening in Starkville, Miss.
Forward Abdul Ado had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs (8-2), and guard Robert Woodard II contributed 17 points and nine boards. Guard D.J. Stewart Jr. scored 10 points.
Mississippi State led by just three points with 7:02 left before going on a game-deciding, 16-2 run.
Guards Carlik Jones (15 points), Donald Hicks (12) and Chyree Walker (10) paced Radford (3-7).
Ado picked up a loose ball, canned a layup, was fouled and hit the free throw with 17:49 left, providing Mississippi State with a 43-42 lead, its first since the score was 18-17 about eight minutes into the first half.
But the Highlanders didn’t go away.
Guard Travis Fields Jr. hit a long jumper as Radford grabbed a 55-54 lead with 11:30 remaining, and then Perry picked up an offensive foul on the other end on Mississippi State’s next trip.
Leroy Butts IV hit a 3-pointer with 7:30 left that made Radford’s lead 60-57.
But fouls were piling up for the Highlanders, who lost starting guard Devonnte Holland on his fifth with 9:50 to play. Three other Radford players had at least three fouls with five minutes to play, and Mississippi State was in the double bonus.
Perry’s free throws with 6:02 left put Mississippi State up for good. Woodard’s pullup jumper from about 15 feet, followed by his layup with 1:53 left, gave Mississippi State a 70-62 lead, its biggest of the night to that point.
Mississippi State led by seven early, but Radford took a 20-18 lead with 11:14 left in the first half after Walker and guard Devin Hutchinson hit back-to-back 3-pointers. The Highlanders stretched the margin to nine when Jones canned a trey with 8:23 remaining in the half.
Guard Tyson Carter (nine points), Mississippi State’s leading scorer on the season, didn’t score until there were 5.4 seconds left in the first half. He sank two foul shots that cut Radford’s lead to one.
However, Jones canned a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from several feet behind the arc — the Highlanders’ 11th of the half, coming from six players — making it 42-38 at the break.
—Field Level Media