STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Quinndary Weatherspoon continued his hot start to the season, scoring a season-high 22 points to lead No. 18 Mississippi State to a 77-59 victory over Hartford on Sunday.
Tyson Carter added 14 points for Mississippi State (2-0), and Aric Holman had 12 points and eight rebounds. Nick Weatherspoon had 10 points.
Jason Dunne led Hartford (0-3) with 17 points, and John Carroll added 16.
“I am glad we got the win,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. “Hartford won 19 games a year ago and they are well coached. Dunne shot it well for them and we had a chance to break it open a couple of times but couldn’t quite do it. They are tough to defend and it was a good test for us.
“Tyson gave us good minutes again, knocking down his shots. Q (Weatherspoon) had another good game and we did a good job on the glass with Holman and Abdul (Ado).”
The Bulldogs shot 45.5 percent from the field and made 9 of 24 on 3 pointers, led by Carter’s 4 of 7 showing beyond the arc. Mississippi State had 12 turnovers and collected 15 steals, including six by Weatherspoon.
Weatherspoon poured in the 22 points two nights after scoring 21 in a season-opening win against Austin Peay.
Mississippi State also held a 36-28 rebounding advantage against Hartford with center Abdul Ado collecting a game-high 10 rebounds.
“We have guys that can handle the ball and shoot it well,” Carter said. “We know we can put guys in good position to score and I felt pretty good tonight. Last year we did not shoot well and we took some bad shots. So we have to watch the shots we take and make sure they are good shots.”
Hartford shot 44.9 percent for the game and made just 6 of 20 beyond the arc. The Hawks were 9 of 11 at the free throw line and had 21 turnovers. Mississippi State scored 21 points off those Hartford turnovers and outscored the Hawks 20-4 on second-chance points.
The Bulldogs got off to a slow offensive start and missed eight of their first 10 shots. But Weatherspoon sparked the offense midway through the first half, scoring six points in the midst of a 14-3 run. The Bulldogs led by as many as 17 in the first half before settling for a 43-29 halftime advantage.
The Bulldogs made 6 of 13 beyond the arc in the first half and held a 20-11 advantage on the backboards. Hartford shot 45 percent in the first half and had 12 turnovers.
Hartford: The Hawks are coming off the program’s most successful season after collecting a program-high 19 wins, but the Hawks have lost their first three after losing to Mississippi State, Utah State and Central Connecticut. In the preseason Hartford was predicted to finish second in the America East Conference.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have handled their first two games with ease, winning by an average of 23 points over Austin Peay and Hartford. Mississippi State has been efficient on offense and continues to get contributions from several people.
Hartford remains on the road and will travel to Quinnipiac on Thursday.
Mississippi State returns to action on Friday and will host Long Beach State.
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