DAYTON, Ohio - Quinndary Weatherspoon piled up 17 of his game-leading 21 points during the second half and grabbed 12 rebounds to corral his first double-double of the season as No. 25 Mississippi State earned a 65-58 comeback victory on Friday in a hostile, sold out road environment at UD Arena.
The Bulldogs (6-1) overcame a seven-point deficit over the last 6:19 and finished the contest on a 21-7 run to upend the Flyers (4-3). Mississippi State has won three consecutive true road games dating back to last season's run to the NIT Final Four.
The 21 points marked Quinndary Weatherspoon's fourth game of 20-plus points this season, and the senior guard's tremendous scoring performance enabled him to crack the program's top 10 scoring list. He eclipsed Tony Watts (1989-90-91-92), Craig Sword (2013-14-15-16) and Jerry Jenkins (1973-74-75) and now has 1,506 career points. Mississippi State improved to 18-2 overall and has won 10 straight games when Weatherspoon has amassed 20-plus points since the start of the 2017-18 season.
Nick Weatherspoon canned a pair of clutch three-pointers inside the final four minutes which included one on the right baseline to put the Bulldogs up by six points with 28 seconds to go. He finished with 14 points, two assists and two steals.
Abdul Ado returned to the starting lineup to add 10 points and four rebounds after missing MSU's last two games due to injury. He was an effective and efficient 4-of-5 from the floor. Lamar Peters, the veteran floor general, turned in a solid all-around effort with a season's best eight assists to accompany five points and five rebounds of his own.
One of the keys for Mississippi State pulling out the victory was its strong rebounding performance. The Bulldogs garnered a 41-31 advantage fueled by 13 offensive boards. MSU made those second chance count too and scored 15 of the game's 24 second-chance points.
The Bulldogs received seven points from Reggie Perry and five pints courtesy of Tyson Carter off the bench. Both players tacked on three rebounds whereas Carter handed out a trio of assists. Aric Holman tucked away three points and eight rebounds.
FROM THE BENCH WITH COACH HOWLAND
"Good to win on the road in a great environment. I'm proud of the poise and resilience we showed down the stretch. Both Weatherspoon's were great. Lamar was great at the point with eight assists and some really smart basketball plays down the stretch."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Facing a 51-44 deficit with 6:19 remaining, the Bulldogs began their mission on the comeback trail when Tyson Carter jumped the passing line and turned a steal into a thunderous one-handed slam.
Then, persistence paid off for Reggie Perry as he followed his own miss with a contested putback in traffic to bring the game back within one possession. Mississippi State crept closer and made it six points in a row after a pair of Quinndary Weatherspoon free throws.
The Bulldogs drew even at 53-53 with 3:15 to go when Lamar Peters found Nick Weatherspoon for a triple on the right wing.
Mississippi State took the lead for good on its next possession at 56-53 as Peters canned a stepback trey off the dribble late shot clock. Again, Peters connected with Nick Weatherspoon for another three-ball, this time from the right baseline, to vault MSU ahead 61-55 with 28 seconds left.
After Dayton answered with a three-pointer of its own 14 seconds later, the Bulldogs executed a home run inbounds play to perfection. Aric Holman hit Quinndary Weatherspoon in stride for a layup to give MSU a two possession advantage, and Weatherspoon salted the game away with a pair of free throws to cap the 65-58 triumph.
All in all, Mississippi State ripped off a 21-7 finishing kick and dialed up three of its seven three-pointers for the contest inside the last 3:15.
Dayton built an early 29-19 lead at the 3:04 mark of the opening half. The Flyers were fueled by nine points courtesy of Josh Cunningham and six assists from Jalen Crutcher during the opening 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs reeled off the last seven points of the first half to slice the deficit to 29-26 heading into the locker room. Perry provided a pair of key buckets to spark the run, a midrange jumper from the left baseline and a three-pointer from the top of the key.
Mississippi State took its first lead at 33-31 since the game's opening six minutes as Quinndary Weatherspoon scored on a putback with 16:39 remaining.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 25-of-61 shots from the field (41.0 percent), 7-of-22 shots from 3-point range (31.8 percent) and 8-of-10 shots from the foul line (80.0 percent).
The Flyers hit 24-of-58 shots from the field (41.4 percent), 7-of-23 shots from 3-point range (30.4 percent) and 3-of-8 shots from the foul line (37.5 percent).
MSU held a 41-31 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 18 assists and 17 turnovers, while the Flyers had 14 assists and 14 turnovers.
Dayton (4-3) received 15 points and seven rebounds from Ryan Mikesell followed by 11 points apiece from Crutcher and Cunningham, respectively.
Mississippi State embarks on its six-game December slate and plays host to McNeese State from the Southland Conference on Tuesday. Tip time is on-tap for 7 p.m. CT at Humphrey Coliseum. The game will be streamed online only by SEC Network + courtesy of the WatchESPN app.