Mississippi St. 76, DePaul 45

Ravern Johnson scored 14 points and Jarvis Varnado had 12 points

and 14 rebounds on Thursday night to lead Mississippi State to a

76-45 rout of cold-shooting DePaul in the SEC/Big East

Invitational.

Returning to the St. Pete Times Forum, where they made an

improbable run to the SEC Tournament championship last March, the

Bulldogs (6-2) built a 20-point halftime lead and didn’t allow the

Blue Demons (5-3) to get any closer the rest of the way.

Romero Osby had 13 points, Barry Stewart scored 12 and Kodi

Augustus contributed 11 for Mississippi State, which made 12

3-pointers en route to its third straight win.

DePaul shot less than 18 percent in the opening half and

finished 18-for-64.

All three of DePaul’s losses have come against SEC teams.

Tennessee and Vanderbilt also defeated the Blue Demons, who went

0-18 in Big East regular-season play last year.