STARKVILLE • Mississippi State had all sorts of problems with Sam Houston State on Friday night.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over 23 times and trailed by 18 points early in the second half but battled all the way back to take the lead in the final minute and held on to win, 67-58.
“I’m really proud of the way our team fought back and never quit, never gave up,” said MSU coach Ben Howland. “They never dropped their heads down 18 and that really makes me feel good about this group.”
MSU (2-0) outscored the Bearkats 33-6 over the final 10:41, including a 17-0 run to close out the game.
Tyson Carter tied the game at 58 with a 3-pointer with 1:57 to go and Robert Woodard II was able to give the Bulldogs the lead for good with a 3 with 59 seconds on the clock.
“When the 3-ball went it, it was like a sense of relief in a way,” Woodard said. “We had it in our minds that we weren’t going to lose this game.”
Mississippi State finished the game shooting 50 percent but were just 5 of 18 from 3-point range.
Carter paced the Bulldogs in scoring for the second game in a row. The Starkville native poured in 28 points on 9 of 14 shooting and is averaging 25.5 points so far this season.
“I’ve put in a lot of work over the last four years and it’s all just paying off right now,” Carter said.
D.J. Stewart provided 15 points in 32 minutes off the bench while Reggie Perry notched a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds despite not scoring until 10:41 left in the game. Woodard also added 10 points for MSU.
The Bulldogs will be back in action next Thursday, hosting Louisiana-Monroe at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network.