By The Associated Press
STARKVILLE — Jarvis Varnado scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds to lead Mississippi State to a 81-67 victory over Jackson State on Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
MSU (24-11) shot 40.7 percent from the field (22 for 54) and hit just 8 of 29 from 3-point range.
Jackson State (19-13) turned the ball over 16 times in the loss.
The Bulldogs will play North Carolina in the second round of the NIT on Saturday at 11 a.m.
MSU opened the game on a 13-6 run and led 32-23 at the half. JSU rallied to within five points early in the second half, but came no closer after a 15-5 Bulldog run.
Dee Bost added 18 points for the Bulldogs and Kodi Augustus chipped in 13.
JSU’s Garrison Johnson scored a career-high 32 points, and Tyrone Hanson chipped in 11.
Read more in Wednesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.