By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Junior guard Jalen Steele, in his third game back from a wrist injury, returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday night.
He finished with four points on 2 of 8 shooting in 20 minutes as MSU beat South Carolina, 56-54. Steele missed all three of his 3-point shots.
He was cramping badly during the second half and had to sit out long stretches, logging just seven minutes after halftime.
“I still can see that I need to get more in game-time shape so I won’t have to cramp up no more in the games,” Steele said. “Other than that, it felt good. The energy, we fed off the crowd.”
MSU was 0 for 10 from 3-point range, the first time since Jan. 18, 2005 the Bulldogs failed to make a 3-point shot. They had made at least one 3-pointer in 262 straight games.
For the season, State is shooting 26 percent from behind the arc.
Player of the game
Freshman Craig Sword scored 18 points, nine of them over the game’s final 10 minutes, 17 seconds. He made 6 of 11 field goals and 6 of 8 free throws.
“I said screw this, we’re going back to man.” – MSU coach Rick Ray, on the Bulldogs’ crucial switch from a zone defense
MSU plays its SEC road opener at Georgia on Saturday (12:30 p.m., SEC Network).