MONTECATINI, Italy – In just two games in Italy, a common theme has quickly unfolded — Quinndary Weatherspoon can put up a lot of points, while the freshmen can score in bunches as well.
Both times that’s equated into wins as Mississippi State improved to 2-0 Monday with a 93-85 victory against Lithuania.
Weatherspoon poured in a game-high 34 points after totaling 29 in the foreign opener. And like the first game, he didn’t have to shoulder the entire load as freshmen Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter scored 20 and 16 points, respectively.
“Just win. That’s what we came here to do,” said Weatherspoon, who also grabbed 11 rebounds to go along with his three assists and five steals. “I thought we played much better and improved on both ends of the court. With so many new faces, it just takes a while for everyone to get comfortable and develop chemistry.”
The Bulldogs jumped out to a big lead early and never trailed in the opening half en rout to a 38-34 lead at the break.
In the second half, however, Lithuania found its offensive rhythm thanks to long-range shooting to take a 53-50 lead. For the game, it drained 13 3s, compared to the Bulldogs’ 8.
MSU answered with its own hot shooting and orchestrated a 16-3 run to go up 66-56 on a 3-pointer by Peters, who hit four on the night.
Lithuania remained in striking distance throughout the fourth quarter, but Weatherspoon thwarted the comeback by scoring the game’s final six points, in addition to key baskets by Aric Holman, EJ Datcher and Carter.
Datcher was also clutch on the boards with 11 rebounds, nine coming in the second half.
“I was excited about how we improved from the first game to the second game,” MSU coach Ben Howland said. “It was much better in terms of our intensity level, especially with our defense early that helped us get out to a fast lead. They made their runs at us and actually took the lead, but I was proud at how we bounced back.
“I thought our guards played well and that Lamar was exceptional. Q, you just can say enough about him. He’s a special player. He’s just such a great leader for us.”
Peters’ performance came after he scored 4 points in game one.
“My first game wasn’t that good, so tonight I wanted to come out with great intensity and play good defense,” Peters said. “As a point guard, I wanted to be the floor general and pick up some of I.J. Ready‘s slack, who is out right now. So I wanted to come and be a good team leader and play hard.”
Game 3 is slated for 1:30 p.m. CT against Adriatic Sea Tritons in Monteccio.
(From MSU Media Relations)