Mississippi State rolls past Auburn 85-66

By David Brandt/The Associated Press

STARKVILLE — Ravern Johnson scored 20 points, Renardo Sidney added 15 and Mississippi State rolled past Auburn 85-66 on Sunday.

The Bulldogs (10-7, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) had no trouble pushing past the struggling Tigers, jumping out to a 22-3 lead in the first 10 minutes. Riley Benock finished with 11 points while Jalen Steele added 10.

Mississippi State shot 62 percent from the field, punctuated by multiple dunks.

The Bulldogs appear to be back on their feet following a miserable December, winning two straight conference games after losing five of six.

Johnson, who has averaged more than 20 points per game most of the season, bounced back after scoring just 14 in the previous two games combined. He hit 8 of his 15 shots, including four dunks in the second half that energized the crowd of 6,794 at Humphrey Coliseum.

Sidney was efficient as well, making 6 of 12 shots from the field while adding six rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

It was the Bulldogs’ 500th home game at Humphrey Coliseum, which was opened in 1975. Mississippi State has a 362-148 record in those games.

Auburn (7-10, 0-3) has lost its three conference games by an average of 16.6 points. The Tigers came into the game as the most offensively challenged team in the SEC, averaging just 63.9 points per game, and the trend continued.

Auburn shot a miserable 8 of 32 (25 percent) from the field in the first half, falling behind 41-22 by halftime. They pulled with 53-41 with 12:58 remaining, but Mississippi State went on a 17-4 run to pull away.

Earnest Ross scored 15, leading four Tigers in double figures. Kenny Gabriel scored 14 off the bench while Chris Denson added 12 and Josh Wallace 10. Auburn shot just 11 of 24 (45.8 percent) on free throws.

Click here for more at Brad Locke’s Inside Mississippi State Sports blog.