Bulldogs get monumental win over Auburn

Nick Weatherspoon crosses up a Tiger defender. Weatherspoon had 12 points in MSU's 92-84 win over Auburn. 

Quinndary Weatherspoon hit a big three to give Mississippi State University a 73-70 lead, swinging the momentum in the Bulldogs' favor as they did not trail again for the remaining seven minutes, beating Auburn University by a score of 92-84.

Head coach Ben Howland said while he does not think Quinndary Weatherspoon, a senior guard from Canton, did not call bank on the shot, it was ultimately the biggest shot of the night. 

"That was a huge shot, thank you, Lord, because that goes in for us right there, and we score again and then there is a technical," Howland said. "That shot right there, I was like, 'Oh, that ain't going,' and then boom, it goes in. Thank God is all I can say; that was big."

The technical foul Howland referred to was when Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl was called.

Howland said he did not know about the technical foul that would give MSU such a big advantage over Auburn with seven minutes to go in the game.

"I didn't even see what happened when the play happened when he (Pearl) got T," Howland said. "I thought they were calling a timeout and I was running out there trying to find out if it was a full or a 30 (second). I had no idea it had even occurred."

Another big factor in the win for MSU was the crowd. Lamar Peters, a junior guard from New Orleans, said the students showed up early and were loud the entire game, which impacted the game.

"It was big, they were here early cheering us on," Peters said. "The students in the crowd were getting into it, and we just wanted to keep playing hard for them. We wanted to get the victory for them for coming out late on a Saturday night when they could have been somewhere else doing something else."

It was a tight start to the game, as only five points separated the two teams after eight minutes of play and both offenses were clicking. This remained the case for the entirety of the first half.

"I thought we came out with a lot of passion," Howland said. "We had 11 assists in the first half, and only nine in the second half, so 20 in total. I think it is something our guys are recognizing more and more, when we play the way we played today it is really fun to be a part of."

However, Auburn came out swinging in the second half and jumped out to an impressive seven-point lead, but they would fall behind after the midway point. Howland said he still had a lot of respect for the team.

“I have a great respect for their team and what a fine job they do and their quality of their players," Howland said. "This was huge for us, I was really proud of our team tonight."

Howland said he loved every single thing about the atmosphere of the Hump, as the crowd helped power the team to a big win over a tough SEC opponent, while also bringing back nostalgia of the Hump to Richard Williams, who coached from 1986-1998 at MSU.  

"I was so excited about the enthusiasm, about the sold-out crowd," Howland said. "The atmosphere that is the Hump. Richard Williams mentioned on the post-game radio that he was really pleased because he has seen it many times before and it seemed like days of old to him today."

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