November 9, 2019 / 3:29 AM / 13 days ago

Mississippi State rallies in second half to down Sam Houston State

Mississippi State scored the game’s final 17 points to rally from an 18-point deficit and beat Sam Houston State 67-58 on Friday night in Starkville, Miss.

MSU (2-0) trailed 52-34 with 13:02 left before hitting 10 of its final 16 shots, including four during the game-ending run. Sophomore guard Robert Woodard II’s 3-pointer with 59 seconds left proved to be the game winner and extended the Bulldogs’ nonconference home win streak to 24 games.

Sam Houston State (1-1) led 34-27 at halftime and extended that lead to 41-30 with 16:43 left on a steal and score by senior guard Chad Bowie. Another Bowie steal led to him hitting two free throws, part of a 9-0 run to put Sam Houston up 50-32 with 14 minutes left.

But foul trouble caused Sam Houston’s lead to slowly dwindle. An intentional foul on Bearkats junior forward R.J. Smith came during a 12-2 MSU run to get the Bulldogs to 56-50 with 4:10 left.

A 3-pointer by senior guard Tyson Carter tied the game at 58 with 1:45 left, then Woodard’s three gave MSU its first lead since there was 12:48 left in the first half. Carter finished with 28 points, 19 in the first half.

Turnovers handcuffed MSU in the first half, with the Bulldogs giving it away 16 times and Sam Houston turning those into 17 points. MSU turned it over 23 times overall, its most since December 2017, after giving it away 18 times in its season-opening win over Florida International on Tuesday.

A 15-2 run, with eight straight points coming from sophomore guard Zach Nutall, put the Bearkats up 34-17 with 2:45 left in the first half. MSU ended the opening frame on a 10-0 run with Carter handling all the scoring in that spurt.

Nutall finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Sam Houston, which fell short of its first win over an SEC team since beating Auburn in 2009.

—Field Level Media

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