CORVALLIS, Ore. – Mississippi State battled back from an early 14-point deficit Saturday afternoon. However, the Bulldogs could not make enough shots to overcome the Beavers of Oregon State.
Oregon State protected its home turf and the road woes continued for Mississippi State as the Beavers withstood a late rally to post a 59-49 victory at Gill Coliseum.
“We can’t get off to bad starts, especially on the road,” MSU head coach Rick Ray said. “When you hold a team to 59 points on their home floor, you feel pretty good about that defensive effort. We needed to win the battle of the glass and we didn’t do that and then we had turnovers.
“It doesn’t matter how well you play defense, because you can’t win a game on the road with the turnovers that we were making.”
MSU dropped its third straight game after opening the season with five straight wins. The Bulldogs have lost their first two true road contests of the season, as Saturday’s setback came one week after a 59-54 road loss at Tulane.
The Bulldogs committed 17 turnovers which led to 23 points for the Beavers. MSU made seven turnovers in the first seven minutes of play as Oregon State quickly sprinted to a 16-2 advantage less than seven minutes into the contest.
MSU would down by as many as 12 points at 20-8 before the hot shooting of Fred Thomas began a rally. Thomas hit back-to-back 3-point baskets as the Bulldogs closed within five points. The Bulldogs were within two points at 23-21 after an old-fashioned 3-point play by Trivante Bloodman.
Oregon State (6-2) ended the half with a 7-2 run to take a 30-23 lead at halftime.
“In the first half, we didn’t have a great flow,” Ray said. “We were more worried about what they were doing, instead of doing what we needed to do. We were hesitant. We got more movement and touches in the paint in the second half. They got to way too many loose balls and 50-50 balls.”
In the second half, Oregon State used another strong stretch of defensive play to extend its lead to 15 points and 41-26 with 14:39 left. The Beavers led by as many as 16 with 9:28 left.
Again, the shooting of Thomas and strong point guard play from I.J. Ready led another rally. A dunk by Roquez Johnson and layup by Gavin Ware capped a 9-0 run as the Bulldogs closed within 51-47 with 4:26 left.
The Bulldogs missed the front end of a one-plus-one on the next possession and turned the ball over a possession later as the Beavers were able to ease out to the win.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 17 of 49 shots from the field (34.7 percent), 6 of 23 shots from 3-point range (26.1 percent) and 9 of 11 shots from the foul line (81.8 percent). The Beavers hit 22 of 59 shots from the field (37.3 percent), 5 of 19 shots from 3-point range (26.3 percent) and 10 of 13 shots from the foul line (76.9 percent).
Oregon State held a 40-34 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had seven assists and 17 turnovers, while the Beavers had 15 assists and 10 turnovers.
Thomas led the Bulldogs with 16 points and nine rebounds. In a season-high 31 minutes of play, Craig Sword added eight points.
Jarmal Reid and Gary Payton each had 13 points to lead the Beavers. Langston Morris-Walker was also in double figures with 10 points. Payton had a team-high eight rebounds.
MSU returns home for a Wednesday night contest with Arkansas State. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at the Humphrey Coliseum with the game being shown nationally on the SEC Network.
(From MSU Media Relations)