Mississippi State's fast start sinks OSU
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 21 points and Mississippi State used a big first half to beat Oregon State 74-57 on Thursday night.
Weatherspoon had missed the previous two games because of what was thought to be a season-ending left wrist injury. The sophomore guard was 6 of 7 from the field and 4 of 5 on 3-pointers and had four steals.
"I am just so happy about our effort and to see how happy our guys were playing tonight," said Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland. "It was great just having Q (Weatherspoon) back on the floor but then to have him play so good was great for us in the first half. His defensive pressure was so intense and he is the ultimate team guy."
Last week Mississippi State officials announced that Weatherspoon had suffered a season-ending injury with a torn ligament in his left wrist.
"About a week ago I started feeling better and it got better by the day," said Weatherspoon. "I started dribbling and shooting and it feels good now. I didn't feel much pain and it is back to normal. It felt good tonight."
Mario Kegler added 12 points for Mississippi State (5-2) while Lamar Peters and Eli Wright scored 10 apiece.
Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 20 points for Oregon State (3-5), Jaquori McLaughlin had 12 and Cheikh N'Diaye added 10.
Mississippi State jumped to a 13-3 lead behind a pair of 3-pointers by Weatherspoon and hit 7 of 9 from beyond the arc and 58.3 percent from the floor for a 45-19 halftime lead.
Oregon State shot just 33 percent in the first half and had 12 turnovers.
"I was unbelievably fired up about our first half and how we played so hard," said Howland. "Our doubling in the post was so much better than our previous games. And our ball pressure was so good. Coming in, we saw that Oregon State had a lot of turnovers. So that was something we tried to focus on. Everybody was swarming to the ball and it sped them up."
Mississippi State finished shooting 50 percent from the field and made 11 of 19 3-pointers. The Bulldogs held a 29-24 rebounding advantage Aric Holman grabbing seven boards.
Mississippi State: Before missing the previous two games, Quinndary Weatherspoon was averaging 18.8 points. He suffered a wrist injury and was originally diagnosed to be out for the season. He scored 21 points Thursday in his return to action for the Bulldogs.
Oregon State: Sophomore guard Stephen Thompson Jr. returned to the Beavers' starting lineup Thursday against the Bulldogs. He started in the Beavers' opener before missing the next six games with an injured left foot.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs close out their three-game home stand this week on Sunday and play host to Georgia State.
Oregon State: The Beavers wrap up a two-game road trip on Saturday with a trip to Charlotte.