November 7, 2007

Bulldogs victorious in final tune-up

In their final tune-up before Saturday's season opener against Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State struggled early before turning in a dominating performance against the top-ranked team from the NAIA ranks. Mississippi State closed the first half with a 12-5 run before opening the second half with a 9-2 spurt to cruise to a 100-69 win over Oklahoma City Tuesday night, before 4,038.

"There's some things that were better than the other night, I thought Jamont Gordon got in the lane and created more plays for the perimeter people and I thought we knocked down some shots," said Stansbury. For the game, Mississippi State shot 52 percent from the floor and 44 percent from behind the three-point line after shooting just 18 percent from three-point land Saturday. After a sluggish performance, particularly on the offensive end of the floor in their previous exhibition against University of the Cumberlands, the Bulldogs appeared much more decisive against the Stars.

Four players finished in double figures scoring on the night, with Jamont Gordon's 20 points leading the way. Jarvis Varnado and Ben Hansbrough each had 16 points while Barry Stewart added 13.

"I think we played a lot better," said Hansbrough. "We got that first game out of the way, that first game is always kind of sloppy."

And just like last time out, Varnado was once again a force inside. The Bulldogs' sophomore finished the night with 16 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots before fouling out late in the second half.

"He makes a lot of things happen for us offensively and defensively right now," said Stansbury. "But the problem is I don't need 19 minutes, I need 25, 28 minutes.

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