STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Lamar Peters had 21 points and Quinndary Weatherspoon added 20 as Mississippi State defeated Texas A&M 92-81 on Saturday.
Peters made 5 of 10 beyond the arc and has now totaled 1,002 career points in his three years at Mississippi State. Tyson Carter added 18 points for the Bulldogs (22-9 overall, 10-8 in the SEC). Aric Holman had 16 points and nine rebounds, and also moved past the 1,000-point mark for his career.
“I’m really happy for our team and excited for our seniors to go out with an important win,” said Mississippi State coach Ben Howland. “It was big for us to get to 22 wins. The regular season is now over and you look at our body of work and it’s impressive. We’ve won 10 of our last 16 games in what I think is the best league in the country.”
Savion Flagg led Texas A&M (13-17, 6-12) with 22 points while Jay Jay Chandler and Wendell Mitchell had 15 and 14 points, respectively. Christian Mekowulu had 11 points and a game-high 15 boards and Mark French had 10 points.
“Mississippi State is obviously playing really, really well,” said Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy. “I know they just lost two games on the road but when Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter shoot the ball like that, they are tough to beat. They have another gear and Lamar is such a good point guard. When he is shooting the ball like he did today, he is tough to guard.”
Peters made 5 of 10 shots from 3-point territory while Carter was even better beyond the arc with a 6 of 9 showing.
“I’ve been putting extra work in the gym,” said Peters, who also had eight assists and six rebounds. “It paid off today and we just kept feeding the hot hand.”
Mississippi State led 49-40 in the opening minutes of the second half and reeled off a 13-4 run. Weatherspoon started the run with a 3-point play while Peters concluded it with a 3. The Aggies never got the deficit under double digits the rest of the way.
For the game, Mississippi State shot 52.4 percent from the floor and made 16 of 34 attempts beyond the arc. The Bulldogs held a 36-30 advantage in rebounds and had 22 assists as a team.
The Aggies shot 46.7 percent from the field and made 9 of 21 of their 3-point attempts. Texas A&M had 10 turnovers and 10 steals.
Mississippi State led for the majority of the first half and jumped out to a 10-6 advantage following a Peters 3 pointer. The visiting Aggies kept things close for the most part, however, as Mitchell and Chandler combined for 22 points in the opening half.
Thanks to a pair of late 3 pointers by Carter, the Bulldogs closed out the half on an 11-3 run and held a 46-34 lead at halftime. Led by Carter’s 5 of 6 showing on 3-pointers, Mississippi State made 9 of 17 beyond the arc in the first half and held a 19-11 rebounding advantage at the break.
Texas A&M shot 46 percent from the field in the first half and had six turnovers.
Texas A&M: The Aggies have now dropped three of their last four heading into the SEC Tournament. Barring a run there they are staring at the program’s first losing season in four years.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs’ 10 SEC victories this season marks the most conference wins since the 2007-08 season. The 18 SEC wins over past two seasons marks the program’s highest two-year total since the 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns.
Texas A&M: The Aggies will open SEC Tournament play on Wednesday and will face Vanderbilt.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs open SEC Tournament play on Thursday.