By David Brandt/The Associated Press
STARKVILLE — Keion Bell scored 24 points, Jabari Brown added 20 and Missouri easily defeated Mississippi State 78-36 on Wednesday night.
Missouri (18-6, 7-4) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the opening minutes and led 34-10 by halftime. It took Mississippi State (7-16, 2-9) more than nine minutes to score its first basket — a 3-pointer by Colin Borchert — but by then the game was basically finished.
Missouri won its first road game of the season. Mississippi State’s losing streak has reached nine games and spanned more than a month.
It is Mississippi State’s longest losing streak since 1981 and the 42-point loss is the worst in the history of Humphrey Coliseum, which opened in 1975.
Trivante Bloodman led the Bulldogs with 13 points.
Missouri led by as many as 44 points in the second half. The Tigers shot 31 of 58 (53.4 percent) from the field.
Bell finished 10 of 16 from the field, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. His 24 points tied a season high and the performance was punctuated by a 360-degree dunk late in the second half.
Brown was 7 of 11 from the field. Missouri outrebounded Mississippi State 46-25.
Missouri’s first road win of the season came with ease. The Tigers pushed ahead 23-4 on Bell’s jumper 7:11 remaining and were never challenged.
Mississippi State continues to explore the depths of ineptitude with only six scholarship players and two walk-ons in the playing rotation. The Bulldogs haven’t won since beating Georgia on Jan. 12 and now face two road games over the next week against LSU and Alabama.
It took Mississippi State more than nine minutes and 12 shot attempts to score. Borchert finally got the Bulldogs on the board with his 3-pointer, but the points didn’t come much faster after that.
It’s been a trying season for first-year coach Rick Ray, whose roster has been decimated by defections and injuries. But nobody in the SEC is going to feel sorry for the Bulldogs, and they found that out once again during Wednesday’s beatdown.
Mississippi State shot just 4 of 25 (16 percent) in the first half. Missouri’s Bell outscored the Bulldogs by himself in that half, scoring 16 to lead the Tigers.
The Bulldogs looked a little better early in the second half. A Roquez Johnson free throw pulled Mississippi State within 42-23 with 14:56 left but Missouri scored the next 12 points to erase what little doubt remained.
Mississippi State couldn’t shoot the ball from anywhere. The Bulldogs were just 11 of 46 (23.9 percent) from the field, 3 of 19 (15.8 percent) on 3-pointers and 11 of 22 (50 percent) on free throws.
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