Mississippi State closes on 24-5 run, beats Tulane 69-59
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Malik Newman scored 15 points and Mississippi State closed on a 24-5 run and beat Tulane 69-59 on Saturday.
Newman was 3 of 9 from the field and made six free throws. Craig Sword had 14 points, and Gavin Ware added 12 points with nine rebounds for the Bulldogs (5-5), who snapped a two-game skid.
''I thought we played a good first half,'' said Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland. ''And I thought Malik had his first half of the year in the first half.''
Dylan Osetkowski scored 20 points to lead Tulane (6-6). Malik Morgan added 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
The first half was back and forth with five lead changes and seven ties. Tulane held a 23-19 advantage after Osetkowski's layup. Mississippi State then scored seven straight to take a 26-23 lead after Ware's bucket and the Bulldogs never trailed the rest of the first half.
Down 40-34 at halftime, Tulane used a 20-5 run to open the second half. Cameron Reynolds made a 3 and the Green Wave led 54-45 with 11:27 remaining to cap the surge. Mississippi State missed 11 of its first 12 field goal attempts in the second half, and Newman had just two points after the break.
''I was disappointed in how we started the second half,'' said Howland. ''They came out and scored two off a tip-in and two off a dunk. The key for us getting a lead in the first half was not giving up those kinds of plays.''
Quinndary Weatherspoon scored five points during a 15-0 run to answer Tulane's rally.
''The guys did not drop their heads and we started to get some important stops in the second half,'' Howland said. ''I thought Q (Quinndary Weatherspoon) was huge during that run.''
Osetkowski then made a jumper at the five-minute mark, snapping a 0-for-10 shooting, nearly seven-minute scoreless stretch for the Green Wave. Fred Thomas's 3-pointer stretched the Bulldogs' lead to 63-56 with 4:31 left, and Tulane never got closer.
Mississippi State had just three first-half turnovers. Tulane shot 46.7 percent and made just 2 of 7 3-pointers in the first half.
The Bulldogs shot 38.2 percent from the floor and made 20 of 26 free throws. Tulane finished 25-of-61 shooting for 41 percent from the field, and shot 35.5 percent in the second half.
Both teams had 39 rebounds and nine turnovers apiece.
Mississippi State: Saturday was the Bulldogs' 94th meeting against Tulane, making the Green Wave the most common non-SEC foe in program history. Senior center Gavin Ware injured his knee during Wednesday's 90-66 loss at Florida State, and did not start against Tulane. ... Senior guard Fred Thomas scored nine points, and is 73 points shy of 1,000 career points.
Tulane: Saturday marked just the second time since 1966 the Green Wave visited Starkville's Humphrey Coliseum. ... Senior guard Louis Dabney was held to eight points on 4-of-10 shooting, including 0 of 5 from 3-point range. Dabney has scored in double figures in 10 of 12 games this season.
Mississippi State plays Northern Colorado in Jackson on Wednesday.
Tulane hosts Southern Miss on Tuesday.