STARKVILLE It only took Mississippi State’s Reggie Perry 22 seconds into the second half to record his second-straight double-double.

Perry finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 62-45 victory over Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday night. It was Perry’s 11th career double-double, which leads all active players in the Southeastern Conference.

“Fourteen and 14, that’s a man,” said MSU coach Ben Howland. “He was dominant tonight. I loved the way he played. He had three assists and did a lot of good things for us. It was a really good overall win.”

Howland was also happy with the way his team played defensively, forcing 17 turnovers and holding the Warhawks to 35.3 percent shooting. State held ULM to only one basket the first 6:05 of the game.

“In the first half I thought our defensive was incredibly effective,” Howland said. “That’s the same team that had Texas A&M down eight on Monday night in College Station.”

State (3-0) also out-rebounded the Warhawks (2-2) by nine and the beat them 17-0 in fast break buckets.

“We really stressed transition defense,” Howland said. “To allow a team zero points in transition defense, hallelujah. That is beautiful. I’m so thankful about that.”

Robert Woodard II scored 13 points and Iverson Molinar and D.J. Stewart Jr. each had 10 points. The Bulldogs finished the contest shooting 40.8 percent from the field.

Three members of Mississippi State’s 2019 signing class made their collegiate debuts in the final two minutes as Elias King, Devin Butts and Quinten Post saw the floor first time.

“They didn’t get to play against TCU or South Alabama so this was their first minutes period, including the two exhibition/scrimmage games,” Howland said. “I’m happy for them and we need them to continue to grow because they’re going to be counted on.”

The Bulldogs close out their four-game homestand with New Orleans on Sunday at 2 p.m.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com

Twitter: @loganlowery

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