Perry's double-double lifts Missississippi St. past Arkansas

Ruben Hill
January 23, 2020

"Because right now, the last two games, we haven't played well enough obviously to win". Meanwhile, junior point guard Nick Weatherspoon contributed 11 points and six assists, while Tyson Carter scored 10 off the bench and Iverson Molinar chipped in eight points in 12 minutes.

Mason Jones and Jimmy Witt Jr. each had 20 points to lead Arkansas (14-4, 3-3).

"That was a really great win against a really great team", MSU coach Ben Howland said. "It is such a hard matchup with Arkansas, and their guards play so unselfish".

"The key for us was taking care of the basketball tonight", Howland said. "He did what good players are supposed to do - make your foul shots". His performance was headed by a pair of treys which included one at the 11:00 mark in the second half to extend State's lead to seven points. A three-point play by Weatherspoon gave the Bulldogs a 44-36 advantage with 12:41 to go. Mississippi State led by as many as 11 in the second half and never allowed Arkansas to get the deficit under five points. The 14 free throws made marked a career-best for the sophomore. "So limiting them to 4-of-20 beyond the arc was pretty big for us".

Arkansas' first-year coach usually confides in the small Havanese dog "because he just sits there and licks my hand", but Musselman provided a window into his thoughts during Monday's press conference.

DID YOU KNOW: The Arkansas defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 24.4 percent of all possessions, which ranks the Razorbacks 21st among Division I teams.

"We don't win these three games unless (we come together)", Howland said. "All really good teams play for each other and play unselfishly. We needed a flawless game to beat a team like that and we didn't get that". Arkansas registered a 46-24 advantage in paint points, the 46 points are the most by a MSU opponent this season.

Mississippi State had 12 assists and nine turnovers, while the Razorbacks had 12 assists and seven turnovers. Our percentage of times we score or get fouled when he gets the ball is really high.

Mississippi State finished with a 10-9 edge in points off turnovers.

Arkansas used a 13-2 flurry fueled by five points from Jeantal Cylla over the next 5:19 to grab a 16-11 lead midway through the first half.

Both teams exchanged moves with leadership until the state of MS used the result 9-0 to seize the 28-22 lead at the end of the first half.

Mississippi State shot just 30.3% in the first half and made 4 of 11 beyond the arc. The Bulldogs were 6 of 7 at the charity stripe in the opening half, led by Perry's 6 of 6 showing at the line.

The Bulldogs held a 23-17 rebounding advantage in the first half but were outscored 18-6 in the paint.

With the victory, MSU got itself back to.500 in league play after starting 0-3 in the SEC for the first time since 2015.

Once again, the Bulldogs (12-6, 3-3 SEC) rode a balanced offensive attack and have had four players secure double figures in back-to-back outings. Now the bulldogs will play three of the next four away games.

Mississippi State begins a stretch of five of its next seven games on the road and meets Oklahoma as part of the Big12/SEC Challenge on Saturday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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