Arkansas State wins at Mississippi State 69-55
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Arkansas State's Sean Gardner scored a game-high 22 points and Cameron Golden added 15 to lead the Red Wolves defeated Mississippi State 69-55 Wednesday at Humphrey Coliseum.
It was the second road win for Arkansas State (3-4) while the Bulldogs (5-4) dropped their fourth straight game.
Nouhoum Bocoum added 13 points and eight boards for the Red Wolves. Roquez Johnson led Mississippi State with 20 points and was the only Bulldog in double figures.
Arkansas State jumped out to an early 12-4 lead in the first half as cold shooting plagued the Bulldogs in the opening 20 minutes. Mississippi State head coach Rich Ray pulled his entire starting five in the opening minutes and the reserves responded with an 11-0 run to give the Bulldogs a 15-12 lead.
Arkansas State regained the lead, however, in the next two minutes and led 35-27 at halftime.
''That is a good win for our team,'' said Arkansas State head coach John Brady. ''Any time you can go on the road and beat a Southeastern Conference team is good for us. We have 10 new players on our team and had not figured out how to close out a game. Our emphasis has been to play consistent for 40 minutes. Tonight we were able to finish a game.''
Mississippi State shot just 32.3 percent for the game and that included a woeful 3-of-17 from three-point territory. Arkansas State shot 52.2 percent from the floor and was 8-of-19 behind the arc, including a 5-of-10 performance by Gardner.
''This is about as disappointing a loss we've had since we've been here,'' said Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray. ''I thought our defensive effort was really lacking and that is what's so troubling and defense is what we have to hang our hat on. Our offensive woes are well-documented and we lacked defensive intensity. Our goal is to make people shoot contested jump shots and I thought there were way too many uncontested jump shots out there.''
Mississippi State only got 15 points from the starting lineup with the bench scoring 40.
Mississippi State: Freshman Demetrius Houston returned to action after missing past two games due to a concussion suffered in practice. ... Wednesday's loss was the first for Mississippi State at home this season after starting out 4-0 at Humphrey Coliseum.
Arkansas State: Head coach John Brady is a former Mississippi State assistant coach and was a graduate assistant coach at Mississippi State. ... The Red Wolves are now 10-15 all-time against Mississippi State. ... Arkansas State collected just its second win over a Division 1 team this season.
Mississippi State plays USC Upstate in Jackson, Miss., on Saturday.
Arkansas State hosts Marshall on Saturday.