For the second Sunday in a row, Mississippi State University men’s basketball walked off the court with a win, thanks to a buzzer-beat from Quinndary Weatherspoon.
Dayton had the ball and the ability to run down the clock for the last shot, but Weatherspoon stole the ball and drove down the court for the game-winning lay up with 0.8 seconds left in the game.
However, last week’s win over Jacksonville State University felt much different than the Bulldog’s (7-0) 61-59 win over the University of Dayton (3-4).
Against JSU, MSU came back from a halftime deficit and capped off a comeback win. Tonight, MSU’s biggest lead was 41-20 in the second half, and Weatherspoon’s last-second shot barely held on to an undefeated season.
“That is what is disappointing, to have a 21 point lead, and then turn it into a last-second shot,” head coach Ben Howland said.
Weathersoon also had a double-double in Sunday night's game. Weatherspoon scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“He is just a player and he makes plays,” Howland said.
MSU got off to such a huge lead, thanks to good defense in the first half, as Dayton turned the ball over 16 times in the first half. MSU held them to 33.3 percent from the floor in the first half.
By the end of the game, they had turned Dayton over 26 times.
“I thought our defense in the first half was spectacular,” Howland said. “We made plays in the second half, we did some good things, took some charged. They were a tough a matchup.”
MSU’s leader was Tyson Carter. Carter, who is coming off of a 35 point performance in MSU’s win over North Dakota State University last Thursday, dropped another 20-point performance on Sunday night.
With Dayton running a 2-3 zone defense, Carter’s three point shooting was key to stretching out the zone defense. Carter went 6-10 from behind the three point line Sunday night.
Howland thanked the crowd after the game, especially the student section. On Friday night, Howland went to MSU’s library to hand out Shipley Donuts to all the students studying for finals. He also asked them to take a study break, and come watch MSU’s win.
“For a night before finals, to have the students come burn off a little energy from sitting there studying all day,” Howland said. “There are a lot of bright kids attending Mississippi State and I met a bunch of them, and let me tell you, they loved Shipley Donuts.”
MSU went without E.J. Datcher, who is recovering from a bone bruise, and Eli Wright, who Howland said sat out because he broke team rules. Howland said Wright will sit out one more game before coming back. Howland is unsure about Datcher’s return.
MSU remains undefeated, but will not play again until next Saturday, when MSU takes on the University of North Georgia. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.