By The Associated Press
STARKVILLE — Roquez Johnson and Fred Thomas combined for 33 points to lead Mississippi State to a 78-58 win over Florida Atlantic on Tuesday night.
Mississippi State (1-1) forced 27 turnovers and shot 49.2 percent (30 of 61) from the field to give Rick Ray his first victory as head coach.
Johnson scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and Thomas scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Craig Sword added 11 points and Gavin Ware chipped in 10 points.
Mississippi State opened the game on an 8-2 run and forced 18 turnovers in the opening half. The Bulldogs led 43-26 at the break and went on an 18-3 run in the second half to seal the win.
FAU guard Greg Gantt led the Owls with 17 points. Cavon Baker added 11 points.