LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Now that was impressive, and as a result Mississippi State is headed to historic Madison Square Garden.
Riding another powerful performance from Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State knocked off Louisville 79-56 in the quarterfinal round of the National Invitation Tournament
MSU (25-11) will now face Penn State (24-13) in the semifinal round of the NIT Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The contest will be at either 6 p.m. CT or 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.
MSU advances to the NIT Final Four for the second time in program history, with the last appearance there being in 2007.
Quinndary Weatherspoon had 19 points and career-high 14 rebounds for his third double-double of the season to spark the Bulldogs. Aric Holman added 16 points eight and eight rebounds, while Nick Weatherspoon and Xavian Stapleton each added 12 points.
After a highly-competitive first eight minutes of play, the Bulldogs seized control of the game with a 7-0 run to end the first quarter, meaning a 20-12 lead.
A 3-pointer by Lamar Peters and dunk by Abdul Ado extended the run to 12-0 and lead to 25-12 to start the second quarter. After Louisville closed within nine, the Bulldogs used strong defense to spark a 6-0 run for a 36-21 lead.
Abdul (seven points, seven rebounds) and Holman continued to set the tone underneath as the Bulldogs led 39-28 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs used an 8-0 run to push the advantage to 49-29 with 4:58 left in the third quarter. A dunk by Holman ended the quarter with the Bulldogs leading 59-41.
A 3-pointer by Stapleton ran the advantage to 71-45 with 6:04 left. By then, the Bulldogs were well on their way to the semifinal round.
For the contest, MSU hit 31 of 65 shots from the field (47.7 percent), 8 of 21 shots from 3-point range (38.1 percent) and 9 of 12 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent). Louisville hit 21 of 60 shots from the field (35.0 percent), 7 of 24 shots from 3-point range (29.2 percent) and 7 of 10 shots from the foul line (70.0 percent).
MSU held a 42-32 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 14 assists and 11 turnovers, while the Cardinals had 12 assists and 16 turnovers.
Louisville (22-14) received 13 points from Ray Spalding and 11 points from Deng Adel. Spalding collected 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.