Three notes and a quote: Mississippi State vs. South Carolina

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

NASHVILLE – Gavin Ware was much more involved for Mississippi State in Wednesday’s 70-59 SEC Tournament win over South Carolina.
Just a week earlier, he’d been held to six points on two shot attempts in MSU’s loss at South Carolina. This time, the freshman center had his teammates looking for him often, and he was able to get himself in good post position.
Ware finished with 10 points, making 4 of 7 shots and grabbing seven rebounds. He was part of an MSU frontcourt that scored 32 points on the game.
“Two things: We wanted to get him the ball, and then we also wanted him to get better post position,” MSU coach Rick Ray said.
“I didn’t think he fought for post position in the last game against South Carolina.”

Williams quiet
In the previous meeting, South Carolina guard Brenton Williams lit up MSU for 38 points. On Wednesday, he was held to six points on 2-of-13 shooting, including 2 of 11 from 3-point range.
He did hit a big shot late in the second half, a 3-pointer to cut MSU’s lead to 60-56 with 4:05 to go. But then he missed four consecutive 3-point shots down the stretch.
Player of the game
Freshman guard Fred Thomas scored a career-high 21 points to go with five steals, three blocks and three assists.

Quotable
“Most people are expecting us to lose the first game, so we had to prove them otherwise.” – MSU forward Roquez Johnson

Next game
MSU now plays No. 5 seed Tennessee (19-11) at 2:30 p.m. today. The Volunteers beat the Bulldogs in the regular season, 72-57 in Knoxville.
Brad Locke