As they did in putting together a three-game winning streak, USC went on an impressive second half run Tuesday night at Mississippi State. The problem was, the Gamecocks were 27 points down when they started the run, and only 5:28 was left in the game. They managed to chop 13 points off the lead, but that was about their only highlight of the night in a 78-64 loss to the Bulldogs, their fifth straight loss in Starkville.
Mississippi State came out smoking making 60% of their first half shots with nine of their 18 baskets on layups. The Bullies dominated the Gamecocks inside with 24 points in the paint and a 22-11 rebounding edge in building a 22-point halftime lead.
USC’s four big men had more fouls, 11, than rebounds, eight. The Gamecocks played without Ta’Quan Woodley who was not with the team due to the birth of his daughter.
Mississippi State finished with a 54% shooting night. The Bulldogs hit 20-26 free throws and outrebounded the Gamecocks 41-24.
James Reese V, the only Gamecock with any offensive flow, led them in scoring with 15 points on 7-9 shooting. Iverson Molinar led four Bulldogs in double figures with 20 points.
The Gamecocks fall to 13-8 overall and 4-5 in the SEC. They will be back at home Saturday afternoon to face Tennessee.