Mississippi State beats Arkansas for fifth win in a row

Published 9:03 pm Saturday, February 11, 2023

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Mississippi State continued it climb up off the mat in the Southeastern Conference with an impressive road win.

Dashawn Davis scored 17 points and Mississippi State picked up its fifth straight victory by beating Arkansas 70-64.

Davis sank 6 of 11 shots from the floor with two 3-pointers for the Bulldogs (17-8, 5-7 SEC). Shakeel Moore finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists. Tolu Smith pitched in with 11 points and eight rebounds. Cameron Matthews added 10 points and six boards.

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“Just proud of my kids,” Mississippi State head coach Chris Jans said. “I’ve heard all about (Bud Walton Arena). I’d never been to a game here. I’d been to AAU events here a long, long time ago, but obviously it’s a great venue to compete in. And (the win) felt really good.”

Anthony Black totaled 23 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals to pace the Razorbacks (17-8, 6-6), who saw their five-game winning streak in SEC play end. Ricky Council IV had 10 points and six rebounds.

Mississippi State used a balanced scoring attack and 51.9 percent shooting from the floor to build a 34-25 advantage at halftime. Moore, Davis and Smith all had six points and eight players scored for the Bulldogs.

The Razorbacks whittled away at the lead in the second half, pulling within 60-57 on a Davis layup with 1:22 remaining. Matthews followed with two free throws and a layup to push the Bulldogs’ lead to seven with 50 seconds left. Black scored twice for Arkansas, but Matthews hit two more free throws and Smith had a dunk to put the finishing touches on Mississippi State’s eighth win in the last 10 games against the Razorbacks.

The Bulldogs shot 47 percent overall to Arkansas’ 44 percent, but MSU sank 6 of 10 attempts from 3-point range while the Razorbacks hit only 4 of 18. The Bulldogs led for all but 3:19 of the game.

“Man, the first 10 or 15 minutes, we were really running good offense,” Jans said. “I really liked where we were at. Certainly, in the second half, it was a little stop and start; and we were just trying to survive it felt like at the end. But you’ve got to give some credit to (Arkansas), too.”

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs return home to play Kentucky on Wednesday.

“We definitely need The Hump to rock,” Jans said. “It’s a heck of an opportunity for us.”