Mens Basketball: Mississippi State 96, Alabama State 68 - D1SportsNet


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Mens basketball

Mississippi State 96, Alabama State 68

Aric Holman came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points and key a big run in the first half as Mississippi State overwhelmed Alabama State 96-68 in the season opener for both teams on Friday at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.

Holman added nine rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (1-0).

Mississippi State scored 11 straight points -- part of a 19-3 run that spanned almost six minutes -- to take a 30-9 lead midway through the first half. Holman had six of the 11 points.

A 10-2 run later in the half gave the Bulldogs a 54-20 lead.

Mississippi State led by 30 or more for most of the second half.

Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State's leading scorer last season and a preseason All-SEC pick this year, had 17 points and eight rebounds. Weatherspoon was 8-for-9 from the field.

Freshman Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary's younger brother, started at point guard for the Bulldogs and had 11 points and three assists.

While the Hornets (0-1) wouldn't be confused with the Bulldogs SEC rivals like Kentucky and Florida, third-year coach Ben Howland had to be happy with his team's offensive efficiency.

The Bulldogs shot 48.4 percent from the floor and had 16 assists.

A season ago, Mississippi State, sporting the youngest roster in Division I, was 16-16. This Bulldogs team is one of only five in the country without a senior.

Jacoby Ross led Alabama State with 17 points. The Hornets made just 7 of 26 3-point attempts and shot 37.3 percent from the floor.

Alabama State plays at Iowa on Sunday.

Mississippi State is off for eight days before hosting Florida A&M on Nov. 18.