Struggles Continue to State in the SEC

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            COLUMBIA, Mo. – A 15-0 second-half run put an end to Mississippi State’s comeback hopes in Southeastern Conference men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon.

            Playing without leading scorer Craig Sword due to a death in the family, short-handed MSU could not recover from that late run, falling 85-66 to Missouri at the Mizzou Arena.

            With the win, Missouri improved to 20-9 overall and 8-8 in league play. MSU dropped its 11th straight decision to fall to 13-16 and 3-13.

            “The main thing in this game is when it went from a (Missouri) 12-point lead to a 27-point lead, we quite simply didn’t respond,” MSU head coach Rick Ray said. “We got the ball into the paint but didn’t finish at the rim. They got the ball inside and did finish.

            “Missouri has the most lethal backcourt combination in this league. They are very good in open space and their size was the main difference in the ballgame.”

            The Bulldogs did hit a season-high 10 3-point baskets, including four by Fred Thomas. The Bulldogs shot 40.7 percent and more than held their own on the boards despite a huge size advantage for the Tigers.