D.J. Stewart scored 16 of his career-high 20 points in the second half and Reggie Perry recorded his 12th double-double as Mississippi State defeated Tennessee 86-73 for its fifth straight SEC win on Saturday in Starkville, Miss.
Stewart made 4 of 5 3-pointers in the second half as Mississippi State (14-7, 5-3 SEC) was on fire after halftime. The Bulldogs shot 69.2 percent over the final 20 minutes and 57.1 percent overall.
Perry finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, increasing his conference-best double-double tally, and he was 12 of 15 from the line. The Bulldogs made 25 of 30 free throws compared to 9 of 13 for Tennessee. MSU is 6-1 this season when Perry scores at least 20.
MSU trailed 34-28 at halftime but used a 10-0 run to take a 45-40 lead with 14:24 left that it would never relinquish. Back-to-back Stewart 3-pointers gave the Bulldogs a 53-45 lead and his reverse layup upped the advantage to 63-52.
The Bulldogs made seven straight shots and 15 of 17 during a stretch in which they outscored Tennessee 33-20.
The Volunteers (12-9, 4-4) were playing without Josiah Jordan-James, who sat out with a hip injury. In his place was freshman Uros Plavsic, a transfer from Arizona State who had only appeared in five games but finished with 16 points (three more than he had all season) in 27 minutes.
Santiago Vescovi also had 16 for Tennessee, which lost its third straight game after winning four of five. The Vols already have more losses in SEC play than they did last year when they finished second in the league.
—Field Level Media