STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Aric Holman and Lamar Peters eclipsed 1,000 career points, while Quinndary Weatherspoon tacked on another 20-point performance to lift Mississippi State to a 92-81 Senior Day victory over Texas A&M on Saturday at Humphrey Coliseum.
The victory enabled the Bulldogs (22-9, 10-8 SEC) to capture 10 SEC victories for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Mississippi State also secured the No. 6 seed at next week’s SEC Tournament and will face the winner of Texas A&M-Vanderbilt during Thursday’s quarterfinal round. Tip time is slated for approximately 8:30 p.m. CT televised by SEC Network.
For Peters, he dropped in 21 points coupled with eight assists and six assists. The 21 points was his second highest total in a SEC game on the season. He was 7-of-12 from the floor and knocked down five three’s. Mississippi State has won 16 of its 19 games when Peters hands out five or more assists.
Weatherspoon registered his 15th effort of 20 or more points on the season. He scored 13 of his 20 points after halftime and reached double figures for the 102nd time of his career. Weatherspoon also distributed four assists. Mississippi State has posted a 19-2 record over the last two seasons when Weatherspoon piles up 20-plus points.
Tyson Carter pumped in 15 of his 18 points during the first half. He matched a season’s best with six treys. He also added four assists over his 37 minutes of action. Carter has provided double figures in four consecutive games and six of his last seven outings.
Holman returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the Alabama game on Jan. 29. He nearly compiled a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. It marked Holman’s highest scoring effort since a 20-point game at South Carolina during the SEC opener on Jan. 8.
Reggie Perry dialed up seven points, six rebounds and three assists whereas Robert Woodard II tacked on seven points and four rebounds. Abdul Ado chipped in three points, six rebounds and three blocks.
For the contest, MSU hit 33-of-63 shots from the field (52.4 percent), 16-of-34 shots from three-point range (47.1 percent) and 10-of-16 shots from the foul line (62.5 percent).
Texas A&M countered with a 28-of-60 mark from the field (46.7 percent), a 9-of-21 mark from three-point range (42.9 percent) and a 16-of-21 mark from the foul line (76.2 percent).
Mississippi State had 22 assists and 13 turnovers, while the Aggies had 10 assists and 10 turnovers. The 16 treys and 22 assists were SEC single-game highs under fourth-year coach Ben Howland.
Texas A&M had five players collect double figures headed by Savion Flagg (23 points) and Jay Jay Chandler (15 points). Christian Mekowulu (11 points, 15 rebounds) notched a double-double for the Aggies.
FROM THE BENCH WITH COACH HOWLAND
“I’m really happy for our team and really excited for our seniors to go out with a very important win. This was big for us to get 22 [wins]. The regular season is over now so it was a successful regular season. When you look at our body of work, we won 10 of our last 16 games in this league, which I think is arguable the best league in the country. That will bear out come NCAA Tournament time as this team advances. I should say as our league advances.”
“I’m really excited for Q [Quinndary Weatherspoon], Aric [Holman] and T.J. [Gray]. Q, Aric and I all came in together as we talked about before today. I’ve been so blessed to be able to be their coach and to get to know them as young men. They came here when it was a tough starting point. We have improved each year, and this is the best team we’ve had in our four years without question. We know we are an NCAA Tournament team which is something that every player dreams of playing in when you go to college. It’s very gratifying.”
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Bulldogs built a 13-6 advantage during the first five minutes aided by three-pointers courtesy of Aric Holman, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter.
Ahead 27-26 at the 4:34 mark, the Bulldogs closed the half with 19 of the next 27 points to take a 46-34 advantage heading into the locker room. Carter highlighted the flurry with a quartet of treys, three of them coming over the last 1:44.
Texas A&M drew within single digits on a Christian Mekowulu jumper to make it 51-42 with 16:38 left. Quinndary Weatherspoon had the answer for the Bulldogs with a runner in the lane and got a traditional three-point play to push MSU back up by 14 points.
Mississippi State stretched its lead to as much as 20 points with six minutes remaining in the second half. Peters and Holman went over the 1,000-point mark 4:06 apart. The historic moment for Peters came on a corner three with 6:22 remaining, while Weatherspoon found a cutting Holman for a left-handed layup with 2:25 to go.
Mississippi State turns its attention to the SEC Tournament where the Bulldogs will open the winner of Texas A&M and Vanderbilt in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. Tip time is slated for approximately 8:30 p.m. CT from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The game will be televised by SEC Network and available online through the WatchESPN platform.