Resume Boosted: Mississippi State takes care of A&M at The Hump

The Mississippi State University student section had a little more emphasis in their "We just beat the hell out of you" on Saturday as MSU (19-10) downed the No. 25 ranked Texas A&M (21-8) Aggies 69-62.

Tolu Smith led all Mississippi State scorers with 17 points, but it was Cam Matthews who sealed the deal late in the tilt with his clutch 7-9 performance from the charity stripe. 

The win boosts MSU's tournament odds more than anything else, as Texas A&M was ranked 24th in the NCAA NET rankings before the loss, while MSU came into the affair ranked 43rd. Barring any late season collapses, this game should lock the Bulldogs into the field. 

Another big reason MSU has been able to shine as of late has been walk-on freshman guard Shawn Jones Jr. Jones was originally committed for Texas State, until MSU head coach Chris Jans and his crew found him late in the recruiting cycle. 

"He just belong out there. He's got so many natural instincts," said Jans after the win. "He's just so long and rangy, and he's got a feel for what's going on, and he's got some anticipation of getting his hands on balls ... He's got a lot of confidence."

During the A&M game, Jones threw down a fast break dunk that set the Hump ablaze with cheers, and according to Jones, that was where the game turned MSU's way. 

"We were catching back up, you know. We started finding out groove and that happened in the moment of finding our groove, and that just gave us energy all-round so we could play harder," said Jones of his highlight jam. 

The Bulldogs are now in prime position to make an NCAA tournament run in head coach Jans' first year at the helm, and even though Starkville is buzzing about it, the rest of the country has known Jans as a winner the whole time  just ask Texas A&M head coach Buzz Williams. 

"Coach (Jans) is a ball coach, and regardless of where he's been employed, he's had a lot of hard jobs, and he's always been ultra successful ... No matter where he's employed, whether they have a bunch of scholarships, don't have scholarships, you've heard of the school, it has a hyphen in it, which league was it in, which league will it be in, is there NIL, is there not, in between the lines, (Jans) has figured it out," Williams said. 

Jans and the rest of the Bulldog crew will host South Carolina for senior night on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. before hitting the road to take on Vanderbilt in the final regular-season matchup of the year. The SEC Network will air both games. 

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