Mississippi State completes second half comeback to rally past No. 13 Missouri

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 1:06 AM CST
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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTOK) - After falling to Kentucky in double overtime on Saturday, a win over No. 13 Missouri was just the kind of bounce back victory Mississippi State needed - and that’s exactly what it got.

The Bulldogs overcame a 12-point halftime deficit en route to a 78-63 defeat of the Tigers on Tuesday night.

D.J. Stewart Jr. and Iverson Molinar stepped up big when the Bulldogs fell behind 43-29 early in the second half. The sophomore guards combined for 22 straight points and gave Mississippi State a 53-50 advantage at the end of their run.

Stewart Jr. ended the night with 24 points with 20 coming in the second half alone.

“I knew we needed someone to step up to get the (win),” Stewart said. “I just had to lock in and put the team on my shoulders, and it happened.”

The Bulldogs’ improvement from the first to second half was like day and night. They shot 67.9% from the field in the second compared to 34.6% in the first. They also turned the ball over three times compared to eight in the first half.

“I wish I could take credit for it, but I thought we had good leadership within the team,” Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland said. “DJ, Molinar, Abdul (Ado) and Tolu (Smith) all stepped up and played with fire.”

Mississippi State has now won nine of its last ten meetings with Missouri.

The Bulldogs return to action Saturday at Vanderbilt with tip-off set for 12 p.m.

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