Mississippi State rolls to 92-61 win over UT-Martin
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Aric Holman had career highs with 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead Mississippi State to a 92-61 victory over UT Martin on Saturday.
Quinndary Weatherspoon also had 21 points for Mississippi State (9-1) and Nick Weatherspoon added 11 to aid a balanced scoring attack. The Bulldogs also received nine points apiece from Lamar Peters, Eli Wright and Xavian Stapleton.
Matthew Butler had a game-high 22 points for UT Martin (3-8) and Delfincko Bogan added 10 points.
It was Holman’s second-straight game to notch a double-double and was his third double-double of the season. Holman was 9 of 12 from the floor and had eight offensive rebounds.
”I would say my rebounding has improved,” said Holman. ”You don’t need a whole team to do that and when it comes to rebounding, you can be selfish in that aspect. That is the way I think about it when I am on the court.”
The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 13-3 run to grab control. The Skyhawks cut the Mississippi State lead to 63-50 after a Butler 3 pointer but the Bulldogs iced the game with an 18-0 run.
Mississippi State shot 50.7 percent for the game, including 67.7 percent in the second half. UT Martin shot just 36.9 percent for the game and had 16 turnovers. Mississippi State dominated the boards with a 53-29 advantage as Holman and Abdul Ado each grabbed 12 rebounds. The 53 rebounds were a season high for the Bulldogs as were the 21 assists.
”We did a much better job in this game against the zone, moving the ball and being patient,” said Mississippi State coach Ben Howland. ”I am really pleased about that and we showed really good ball movement. With the exception of a couple of shots, most of those 3s we shot were good shots and were wide open. And in the second half we shot better with our 3s. Our defense really got us going, though, and I was really pleased with our rebounding, too.”
The Bulldogs outscored the Skyhawks 44-22 in the paint and also had a 31-11 advantage in second-chance poionts.
The first half featured 12 lead changes and four ties until the Bulldogs surged ahead late in the half. Mississippi State closed out the half on an 11-5 run and held a 39-33 halftime advantage.
Mississippi State shot just 36.1 percent in the first half while UT Martin shot 41.4 percent from the field. The Bulldogs made just 6 of 20 beyond the arc in the first half and UT Martin made 6 of 15 beyond the arc.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs now have their best start at 9-1 since the 2003-04 season. Mississippi State opened the year at 8-0 before losing at No. 25 Cincinnati on Tuesday.
UT Martin: The Skyhawks saw their two-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 0-3 this season versus Power 5 teams. UT Martin previously lost to Power 5 programs Illinois and LSU this season.
Mississippi State returns to action Wednesday and play host to Little Rock.
UT Martin opens a four-game homestand on Wednesday against Blue Mountain College.