Quinndary Weatherspoon hits late 3, Mississippi State wins
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Quinndary Weatherspoon made a 3 pointer with 0.3 seconds left to lift Mississippi State to a 59-56 win over Jacksonville State on Sunday.
Weatherspoon’s jumper with 2:25 remaining gave the Bulldogs a 56-54 lead before Jason Burnell’s jumper tied it at 56 with 1:05 left. Both teams missed a 3-pointer before Weatherspoon’s winner.
“Basically, I was just trying to get the shot off,” Weatherspoon said. “We held it for 15-16 seconds and I threw the ball to Tyson (Carter) after I got trapped. I got it back and just wanted to get a clean look and I did.”
Mississippi State won its fifth straight to start a season for the first time since 2014-15. Jacksonville State (4-2) is 0-5 all-time against the Bulldogs.
Weatherspoon finished with 13 points while his brother Nick Weatherspoon had 12 for MSU. Aric Holman also finished in double digits for the Bulldogs with 11 points and added six rebounds.
Norbertas Giga scored 15 points for Jacksonville State and Burnell had 10 points.
“That’s three close games in a row now and my hair continues to recede,” Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland said. “I can’t say enough about our opponent and I suspect they will be an NCAA Tournament team as they were last year.
“But our key was we continued to play defense. The three games in five days took a toll on us and hurt us. But we did a good job of not giving up and playing defense throughout the game.”
Mississippi State shot 44.6 percent from the field while holding Jacksonville State to 38.6.
“I didn’t think we were as sharp in the second half in making that second pass on offense,” Jacksonville State coach Ray Harper said. “We had a spurt there where we did make that second pass but didn’t continue it. We didn’t rebound the ball in the second half like we needed to.”
Both teams struggled in the first half, shooting 39 percent from the field. Jacksonville State used an early 9-0 run in the opening six minutes and led the rest of the half for a 29-25 advantage.
Jacksonville State: Despite the loss, the Gamecocks are still off to their best start since opening 6-1 in the 2008-09 season.
Mississippi State: Due to a violation of team rules, Lamar Peters missed his second straight game for the Bulldogs. In the absence of the sophomore point guard, Mississippi State has committed 31 turnovers in two games.
Jacksonville State returns home to host Alabama State on Thursday.
Mississippi State returns to action Thursday and will host North Dakota State in a first-ever meeting.