Mississippi State takes crushing loss in overtime

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For a brief moment, Mississippi State resurrected its NCAA Tournament hopes with a strong winning streak.

Suddenly, the momentum has been stopped cold.

Kobe Brown scored 17 points, Nick Honor hit a 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds left in overtime, and Missouri beat Mississippi State 66-64 on Tuesday.

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Honor made two 3s and Noah Carter a third as the Tigers outscored Mississippi State 9-7 in the extra period. Dashawn Davis missed a jumper and Eric Reed Jr. the putback on Mississippi State’s final possession.

Mississippi State (18-10, 6-9 Southeastern Conference) lost for the second time in three games, after winning five in a row before that. Both of its recent losses, to Kentucky and then Missouri, were to fellow SEC teams vying for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

And with only three games left in the regular season, beginning Saturday at home vs. Texas A&M, it has likely put the Bulldogs in the position of needing to win the SEC Tournament and the league’s automatic berth in order to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

“I’m pretty disappointed,” Mississippi State coach Chris Jans said after Tuesday’s loss to Missouri. “That was a gigantic game for this year’s team. Everyone that follows us understands what it would have meant if we would’ve won the game. We didn’t. We just didn’t get it done, and they did. I know we will regroup and move on because we have to.”

Missouri (20-8, 8-7 Southeastern Conference) ended a two-game skid and collected its 15th home win, its most since winning 16 in 2013-14.

D’Moi Hodge added 16 points and made three of the Tigers’ eight 3-pointers. Honor and Carter each finished with 10 points. Tre Gomillion had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Tolu Smith scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Mississippi State (18-10, 6-9), which shot 26 percent and 0-for-10 from 3-point range in the second half. The Bulldogs finished 22-of-60 (37 percent) overall.

D.J. Jeffries added 10 points. Smith made a pair of free throws with 8.7 seconds left in regulation to tie it 57-all and force overtime, but it couldn’t finish the job in overtime.

A jumper by Davis with 20 seconds left put Mississippi State ahead 64-63. Then Honor hit a step-back 3-pointer with time winding down to put Missouri back in front.

“They made the two last 3s. At the end of the day, that was the difference in the ballgame,” Jans said. “We really survived it. They ran an out of bounds play with 2.2 (seconds left in regulation) that they hadn’t shown, or at least we hadn’t seen it. It was a heck of a play. We got lucky. I thought that was our break. Normally, when that happens, the team that receives that break ends up winning, but it wasn’t the case tonight.”