MSU falls at Florida State

Ben Howland

Ben Howland

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A fast start was not enough for the Mississippi State men’s basketball team Wednesday night against Florida State.

The Bulldogs fell behind in the late stages of the first half and could not overcome a strong second-half performance by the Seminoles, falling 90-66 at the Tucker Center.

Craig Sword matched a season-high with 20 points to lead the Bulldogs (4-5). Gavin Ware added 13 points and Malik Newman added 12 points. Fred Thomas had a season-high nine rebounds, while Ware added eight boards.

Newman capped an 11-0 run with five straight points to help the Bulldogs to a 15-8 lead. The Seminoles followed with the game’s next six points.

A 3-pointer by Thomas halted that run and pushed the MSU lead to 18-14. Another trey by Newman would run the Maroon and White advantage to 23-18 with 7:33 left in the half.

Florida State (7-2) reeled off the game’s next 11 points to grab a 29-23 advantage. The Seminoles led 37-28 at halftime.

In the second half, the Bulldogs hit only 2 of 11 shots from 3-point range and finished with two assists on 14 made baskets.

Florida State stretched the lead to 14 at 49-35 in the first five minutes of the second half. The Bulldogs were back within eight points at 49-41 on a putback from Ware with 13:40 left.

The Bulldogs were within seven at 59-52 on two free throws by Ware with 10:00 left. Florida State scored the game’s next seven points. A follow-up 8-0 run two minutes later stretched the lead to 20 and put the contest away.

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 24 of 62 shots from the field (38.7 percent), 6 of 24 shots from 3-point range (25.0 percent) and 12 of 16 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent). The Seminoles hit 30 of 63 shots from the field (47.6 percent), 4 of 20 shots from 3-point range (20.0 percent) and 26 of 36 shots from the foul line (72.2 percent).

Florida State held a 46-32 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had five assists and 15 turnovers, while the Seminoles had 12 assists and 13 turnovers.

Florida State received 20 points from Dwayne Bacon, 17 points from Malik Beasley, 13 points from Xavier Rathan-Mayes and 11 points from Boris Bojanovsky.

MSU returns home for a 3 p.m. start against Tulane Saturday. The contest will be available on SEC Network + from Humphrey Coliseum.

(From MSU Media Relations)

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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