Recapping MSU’s 60-42 win over Alcorn State on Tuesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
• The buzz: MSU (2-4) jumped out early, trailing only at 2-0. It reeled off 13 consecutive points after that and kept pouring it on behind a pretty well-balanced offensive attack. State did a good job of ball movement on offense and made it tough for Alcorn (2-5) to get the ball inside the 3-point line. There was good action around the glass on both ends for MSU.
• Turning point: MSU led 14-7 in the first half when it went on a 10-2 run to establish a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Four different players scored during the run.
• MVP: Freshman Fred Thomas didn’t start but had a solid game. Despite missing all four of his 3-point attempts, he found other ways to score, which showed some maturity.
• MSU leaders: Thomas 14 points (5-12 FGs, 0-4 3FGs, 4-7 FTs), 5 rebounds; Craig Sword 14 points (4-8 FGs, 1-3 3FGs, 5-9 FTs), 5 steals, 4 rebounds; Roquez Johnson 13 points (3-7 FGs, 7-9 FTs), 7 rebounds; Gavin Ware 7 points, 12 rebounds.
• Alcorn leaders: Anthony Evans 12 points (4-17 FGs, 3-9 3FGs, 1-1 FT), 4 steals; LeAntwan Luckett 11 points (4-13 FGs, 0-2 3FGs, 3-9 FTs).
• Key stats: MSU out-rebounded Alcorn 50-20. … MSU shot 40.9% from the field and made 22 of 33 free throws (66.7%). … ASU shot 28.3% from the field, 23.5% from 3-point range (4 of 17) and 47.1% from the line (8 of 17). … MSU committed 21 turnovers and had just six assists.
• Highlight reel: About halfway through the second half, Thomas had back-to-back fast-break dunks off turnovers. Alcorn called a timeout after the first, came out, and Thomas quickly forced the turnover that led to his second jam, giving MSU a 53-30 lead with 10:18 left.
• Quotable: “In practice, when you work hard in practice it shows on the court. We busted our butt at practice.” – Sword
• Bottom line: MSU snapped a three-game losing streak. Sure, this was a win over a SWAC team, but it has to be a confidence-builder heading into the weekend. MSU looked for good shots and did a good job getting to the line. The defense and rebounding were tenacious. Good all-around effort.
• Up next: The Bulldogs head up to Providence on Saturday to participate in the SEC/Big East Challenge (11 a.m., ESPNU).
• Video: Below, you can watch Sword (from left), Ware and Thomas talk about the game.