Area SEC teams pick up big non-conference wins on busy Thursday

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STARKVILLE, Miss-Quinndary Weatherspoon had a career-high 27 points to lead Mississippi State to an 85-76 victory over Morehead State Thursday at Humphrey Coliseum.

Weatherspoon had 15 points in the second half as the Bulldogs (8-3) overcame a 10-point halftime deficit. Weatherspoon also set a career-high with 10 made field goals on 17 attempts from the floor.

I.J. Ready had 19 points for Mississippi State and Aric Holman added 12.

Xavier Moon led Morehead State with 22 points while Lamontray Harris had 20 points and Jordan Walker 10 for the Eagles.

The first half featured six ties and three lead changes in the first six minutes. But Morehead State used a 13-4 run midway through the first half to grab control. The Eagles (3-9) shot 57 percent in the first half, including a 5-of-10 showing on 3 pointers, and held a 41-31 halftime advantage.

Meanwhile, Mississippi State shot just 44 percent in the first half and made just 1 of 8 beyond the arc.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn-Detrick Mostella scored a career-high 25 points off the bench and put Tennessee ahead for good by sinking two free throws with 1:11 remaining Thursday as the Volunteers outlasted East Tennessee State 72-68.

Mostella’s free throws put Tennessee ahead 67-65. The junior guard added a jump shot with 29 seconds left to make it 69-65, the first time since midway through the second half that eiter team led by more than two points.

The Buccaneers led 65-64 on a Hanner Mosquera-Perea basket with 2:13 left before Tennessee went on an 11-0 run to pull ahead for good.

ETSU (9-3) was hosting Tennessee (7-5) for the first time since 1963 and was attempting to beat a Southeastern Conference team for the second time in just over a week. The Buccaneers had won 67-65 at Mississippi State on Dec. 15 thanks to Mosquera-Perea’s tip-in with 1.4 seconds left.

T.J. Cromer and Desonta Bradford each scored 14 points for ETSU. A.J. Merriweather had 11 points and David Burrell had 10.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark-It was a neutral-site game on the schedule, but Thursday’s trip to central Arkansas brought three Razorbacks home _ and the trio helped lift their team to a 90-56 over Sam Houston State in both teams’ final game before conference play.

Daryl Macon, from Little Rock, scored 17 points and Anton Beard from North Little Rock added 16 as the Razorbacks (11-1) took advantage of the Bearkats’ poor shooting for an easy victory.

Dusty Hannahs, also from Little Rock, had been leading the Razorbacks in scoring at 15.7 points per game but had only six points in Arkansas’ annual game at Verizon Arena. The victory raised the Hogs’ record to .500 after 18 games in the building.

Dakarai Henderson scored 13 points for Sam Houston State (9-4).

In one stretch of the second half, the Bearkats missed 14 of 15 shots from the floor as Arkansas stretched a 41-29 halftime lead to 73-41 lead.

OXFORD, Miss-Sebastian Saiz recorded his seventh double-double of the season, 23 points and 16 rebounds, and Mississippi had five players score in double figures Thursday night to defeat South Alabama 92-58.

DeAndre Burnett scored 21 points, Justas Furmanavicius had 13, Cullen Neal added 11 and Terence Davis had 10 points to lead Ole Miss (9-3).

The Rebels shot 29 of 59 (49 percent), including 8 of 22 from 3-point range, and outrebounded South Alabama 50-35.

Nick Stover and Georgi Boyanov led South Alabama (7-6) with 17 and 10 points, respectively.

The Jags trailed 46-26 at halftime and managed only 19-of-66 shooting (29 percent), including 5 of 23 from 3-point range.

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