STARKVILLE – Mississippi State’s Tyson Cunningham only played five minutes during the second half Wednesday’s win over Auburn.
But the senior walk-on contributed five points and drew a pivotal charge to lift the Bulldogs down the stretch.
With the shot clock winding down and MSU clinging to a three-point lead, Cunningham buried a shot behind the arc with 3:23 remaining. The Columbus native then hustled back on defense to draw a charge on the other end of the floor, which led to another basket for the Bulldogs following the turnover.
“Tyson hadn’t been in the ballgame that whole time, and to make contributions like that really speaks volumes about him as a person and being prepared,” said MSU coach Rick Ray. “Tyson is the one guy on our team that’s always in the gym and working on his shot. When you work like that you’re always able to come in during pressurized situations and have success.”
Mississippi State has won six straight home games and improved to 3-0 in the SEC at Humphrey Coliseum.
It was the fifth straight victory over Auburn in Starkville, and the Bulldogs have won 13 of the last 14 against the Tigers at home.
Ready still out
Freshman point guard I.J. Ready missed his second straight game with a concussion.
Ready left the Alabama game last week after taking a first half charge and has not played or practiced since. Ray was unsure of his status for Saturday’s game at Ole Miss.
“In the moment of the game you have to do whatever it takes to get the W. I had a little energy when I hit that shot, and it just carried over.” – MSU senior guard Tyson Cunningham