Mississippi State knocks off South Carolina 82-68

TAMPA, Fla. – Barry Stewart scored 21 points, most of them from 3-point range, and Mississippi State beat South Carolina 82-68 Friday in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Dee Bost added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (21-12), who won their fourth straight and might have eliminated the Gamecocks from consideration for the NCAA tournament.

South Carolina (21-9) has lost three of four down the stretch, a skid that could offset the team’s strong RPI (No. 49) during the NCAA’s selection process.

The Gamecocks felt like they let this one get away. They had a double-digit lead early and a four-point advantage at halftime.

But they were outplayed in the second half. Stewart did a big chunk of the damage, hitting consecutive 3s that put Mississippi State ahead for good.

Zam Fredrick led the Gamecocks with 20 points.

Mark Long/The Associated Press