No. 18 Mississippi St cruises past Austin Peay 95-67
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By DAVID BRANDT
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Mississippi State has added a lot of talent around Quinndary Weatherspoon during his four seasons on the roster, so the Bulldogs don't need him to be the star every single night.
But in the first game of his senior year, the 6-foot-4 guard proved he's still more than capable of being the No. 1 option.
Weatherspoon scored 21 points, younger brother Nick Weatherspoon added 19 and No. 18 Mississippi State beat Austin Peay 95-67 in the Bulldogs' season opener Friday night.
The older Weatherspoon was good the entire night, but especially during a stretch late in the first half when he scored seven straight points to push the Bulldogs to a 50-34 halftime lead.
"Honestly, I'm just trying to do everything I can to help my team get going, get a lead and play comfortable," he said.
Quinndary Weatherspoon shot 10 of 15 from the field and grabbed five rebounds. He's been the Bulldogs' best all-around player the past three years and has 1,404 career points, which ranks 16th in school history.
Tyson Carter scored 12 points and Abdul Ado added 11. Aric Holman had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Mississippi State shot nearly 58 percent from the field despite going 7 of 25 (28 percent) from 3-point range.
"Putting up 95 points and only shooting 25, 28 percent from 3 shows that we can score the ball more than one way," Quinndary Weatherspoon said.
Austin Peay was competitive for most of the night and pulled to 60-50 after a 3-pointer with 13:59 left. But the Bulldogs responded with an 11-3 run to put the game away.
Mississippi State (1-0) never trailed, jumping out to a 22-13 lead after nine minutes. The Bulldogs pulled ahead 50-34 by halftime thanks to 56 percent shooting from the field. Quinndary Weatherspoon led all scorers with 13 points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting.
"I thought our guard play was really good tonight," Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said.
Austin Peay (1-1) was led by Steve Harris, who had 17 points. Terry Taylor added 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Governors shot just 39 percent from the field and made only three 3-pointers.
"A loss is a loss and the score looks bad, but I thought for 30 minutes we fought," coach Matt Figger said.
Austin Peay: The Governors lost their sixth straight game against a Southeastern Conference foe, but didn't have a bad effort. Austin Peay and Figger, the program's second-year coach, are trying to improve on last season's 19-15 record, including a 12-6 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Mississippi State: It was a good opening game for the Bulldogs, who were in command the entire night. Two of the team's prized freshman, Reggie Perry and Robert Woodard II, had solid debuts. Woodard had eight points and five rebounds. Perry added five points.
Howland was pleased with just about everyone on the roster, but saved special praise for junior Tyson Carter, who came off the bench to score 12 points in 23 minutes.
The 6-foot-4 Carter has developed the reputation of a shooter, but scored almost all his points against Austin Peay on drives to the basket.
"It shows real growth in his game," Howland said. "It shows the other things he's capable of doing."
Austin Peay travels to South Florida on Monday.
Mississippi State hosts Hartford on Sunday.
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Updated November 9, 2018