JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's basketball team nearly overcame a 14-point deficit with 11 minutes left to play, but New Mexico State scored the last seven points inside the closing two minutes to secure a 58-52 decision on Sunday at the Mississippi Coliseum.
The Bulldogs (8-3) had their four-game winning streak under Ben Howland come to a close in the capital city and dropped to 16-2 in Jackson dating back to the 1985-86 season.
Reggie Perry corralled 12 of his team-leading 17 points during the second half and tacked on 10 rebounds to tuck away his fifth double-double of the season. It also marked Perry's 14th career double-double which is tops among SEC active players.
Tyson Carter joined Perry in double figures as he dialed in 11 points, dished out three assists and grabbed two rebounds. His lone three-pointer durin the first half allowed hime to move into a tie for seventh place with former teammate Quinndary Weatherspoon (2016-17-18-19) for career three-pointers in program history.
Robert Woodard II filled the box score with nine points, five rebounds, a career-high tying four steals and a career-best equaling two blocks.
In his first game back, Nick Weatherspoon contributed eight points and two steals before he fouled out late in the second half.
Abdul Ado and Iverson Molinar rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs. Ado chipped in four points and seven rebounds, while Iverson Molinar added a trio of free throws. D.J. Stewart Jr. handed out a team-high four assists.
State recorded 10 steals for the second time this season and first time since the season opener against Florida International on Nov. 5.
For the contest, MSU hit 21-of-51 shots from the field (41.2 percent), 3-of-16 shots from three-point range (18.8 percent) and 7-of-11 shots from the foul line (63.6 percent).
The Bulldogs had 10 assists and 17 turnovers, while the Aggies had 10 assists and 16 turnovers.
New Mexico State shot 20-of-50 overall (40.0 percent), 9-of-23 on its three-point attempts (39.1 percent) and 9-of-13 at the charity stripe (69.2 percent). The Aggies received 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from Johnny McCants and 14 points from Evan Gilyard.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
New Mexico State grabbed a 4-3 advantage at the 14:56 mark, but Mississippi State erased the early deficit as Robert Woodard II connected on a three-pointer and Tyson Carter made a second-chance layup under the basket to make it 8-4 with 12:46 left.
The Aggies used a 14-2 flurry, fueled by seven points from Evan Gilyard over the next 5:06 to snatch an 18-10 lead with 6:12 remaining in the first half.
A Tyson Carter trey at the 5:40 mark gave State the momentum and ignited a stretch where the Bulldogs scored 11 of the next 17 points to trim the margin down to 23-21 heading into the locker room.
New Mexico State grabbed 10 of the first 12 points in the second half to go ahead 35-23 at the 16:58 mark.
Down 45-31 with 11:18 remaining in the contest, Reggie Perry recorded back-to-back slams to ignite a 9-0 run. Robert Woodard II and Nick Weatherspoon also connected on baskets to draw the Bulldogs back within 45-40 at the 8:36 mark.
State continued its rally and made it a 21-6 run to take a brief one-point lead. The Bulldogs continued to go inside as Ado and Perry dunks brought the score to 51-50 with 3:36 left. A Perry layup gave the Bulldogs a 52-51 lead with 2:35 to go.
On the ensuing possession, Johnny McCants hit on a late shot clock jumper to give the Aggies the lead back and to spark a 7-0 finishing kick for the final margin of 58-52.
Mississippi State will play its final non-conference tune-up before SEC action when Kent State visits Humphrey Coliseum on Monday, Dec. 30. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed by SEC Network+ and carried online only courtesy of the Watch ESPN platform.