As the game clock expired in the first half, Aric Holman scored a put back to tie Mississippi State University’s men’s basketball (15-6, 3-5 SEC) game against the University of Missouri (13-8, 3-5 SEC) 31-31.
“That is the whole goal for the game is for the three, four, and five to crash the boards,” Holman said. “Just luckily God helped me with that touch put it in. He was face guarding me like he knew I was going to the glass, but he turned his head and I ran straight past him, and luckily the ball came straight to me.”
The momentum from the shot carried over into the second half as MSU came out of the gates swinging, scoring six straight points. Head coach Ben Howland said his team did a good job starting off the second half strong on defense.
“That was big, and the way we started the second half, Lamar had a big steal, and Nick had a couple of good plays,” Howland said. “We really came out and jumped on them early in the second half. We had momentum and boom, right from the git-go which was big. That was really good, that was growth as a team.”
The Bulldogs had a solid offense tonight shooting 54.7 percent from the field, and went 6-16 from three point range. Howland was pleased with how his team was able to attack tonight.
“Our team overall was very good, 17 assists on our 29 baskets, only 16 threes attempted, which was really nice,” Howland said. “Keep getting inside, having balance, and I thought Lamar did a nice job orchestrating the offense with nine assists.”
MSU was able to move the ball around and create chances, thanks to the play of Lamar Peters, a sophomore guard from New Orleans. Peters said he just wanted to help his team get the win anyway he could.
“I knew we needed the game, so I just wanted to make a difference, because I hadn’t had a good season scoring the ball,” Peters said. “I thought I could affect the game in different ways by being a playmaker for others, screening the ball, and playing good defense to help us get a win.”
With the 74-62 victory, Mississippi State has gotten to its win total from last year with ten games left in the season. Peters believes this team can not only eclipse their win total from this year, he also said they are much better this season.
“We are way better than last year, and I’m sure we will win more than six games,” Peters said. “We just going to keep working hard, keep getting better at practice, keep playing together as one, and it is all going to fall into place.”
Mississippi State will play at the University of South Carolina on Jan. 31. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m., and SEC Network will televise the game. The next home game will be against the University of Georgia on Feb. 3 at 5:00 p.m., and ESPNU will televise the game.