Smith Scores 24, Mississippi State Pulls Away From Rival Mississippi For 83-71 Win

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tolu Smith III scored 24 points and Mississippi State turned back rival Mississippi 83-71 on Wednesday night to split the season series and break their tie in the SEC.

The Rebels overcame a 12-point deficit in the first half and cut an 11-point deficit to four with more than five minutes to go but the Bulldogs ran off nine-straight points to end it.

Shakeel Moore and Keshawn Murphy both scored 12 points for Mississippi State (18-8, 7-6), who have won four straight. Cameron Matthews scored 10 of his 11 points after halftime.

Mathew Murrell scored 23 points for Ole Miss (19-7, 6-7), whose NCAA Tournament hopes took a hit. Jaylen Murry and Allen Flanigan each scored 12.

Mississippi won the first meeting 86-82. Mississippi State has only reached 80 points twice in SEC play, both against the Rebels.

Dashawn Davis started and ended the game clinching run with layups at 4:15 and with 45 seconds remaining for an 84-68 lead.

Ole Miss hit a late 3, which made it a 1-for-9 second half behind the arc.

Mississippi State helped keep Ole Miss in it missing 16 foul shots (23 of 39). Ole Miss was 19 of 21 from the stripe.

Ole Miss was up by one with less than 14 minutes to go when Murphy put the Bulldogs on top 56-55. That ignited a 14-2 run with Murphy scoring seven. Moore made the last two baskets for a 68-57 lead with 9:51 left.

The Rebels made three free throws but didn't get a basket until the 6:33 mark when Murrell pulled them within 70-62. Ole Miss missed five shots, had five turnovers and coach Chris Beard picked up a technical foul.

Murphy made a layup with 12 minutes to go in the first half to give Mississippi State a 20-8 lead as the Rebels were in the process of starting the game 2 of 11. The Ole Miss made five straight and 10 of 12, pulling within 31-30 on Murray's layup at 5:35.

The Rebels weren't done and led by six when Murrell drilled a 3-pointer and his free throws capped the first half scoring with Ole Miss on top 44-40.

Murrell had 16 points at the half and Ole Miss ended up shooting 50%. Smith had 18 for the Bulldogs, who also shot 50%.

Mississippi State is at LSU on Saturday when South Carolina plays at Mississippi.

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