Iverson Molinar scored 21 points and Reggie Perry added 18 as hot-shooting Mississippi State defeated Tulane 80-66 in the first round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Thursday afternoon in Conway, S.C.
Tyson Carter added 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Bulldogs (5-0) made 60.5 percent of their field goals, including 55 percent (11 of 20) from 3-point range. They were shooting just 28 percent on 3-pointers entering the game.
The Green Wave (3-1) couldn’t keep up, making 39 percent of their field goals, including 36 percent (9 of 20) of their 3-pointers. K.J. Lawson and Christion Thompson scored 12 each and Jordan Walker had 11 points for Tulane, which like MSU, was playing away from home for the first time.
The Bulldogs’ defense continues to hold down opponents, though the Green Wave were the first foe to score 60 points since the season opener. MSU outrebounded Tulane by a decisive 41-16 margin.
The Bulldogs will face No. 17 Villanova, which defeated Middle Tennessee State, 98-69, and the Green Wave will face MTSU on Friday.
MSU led by nine points at halftime, but Lawson’s 3-pointer helped Tulane get within 38-32 early in the second half.
Carter canned two 3-pointers during a 12-2 run that gave MSU a 50-34 lead.
Robert Woodward II made a 3-pointer and a layup, then assisted on a dunk by Prince Oduro as the Bulldogs opened a 63-43 lead midway through the half.
Oduro made two free throws that completed an 11-0 run that increased MSU’s lead to 67-43.
MSU set the early tone with its long-range shooting. Molinar made a 3-pointer and Perry made two 3-pointers as the Bulldogs opened a 13-5 lead.
The lead reached double figures when Molinar made a layup to push the score to 19-9.
MSU increased the lead to 11 points on two occasions before Lawson’s layup pulled the Green Wave within 29-23.
Lawson’s jumper got Tulane within 31-27, but D.J. Stewart’s jumper and KeyShawn Feazell’s 3-pointer gave the Bulldogs a 36-27 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media