Arkansas guard Dusty Hannahs (3) loses control of the dribble against the defense of Mississippi State guard I.J. Ready (15) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis
February 09, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Mississippi State's 6-foot-10 freshman Aric Holman had the ball at the free-throw line and looked poised to make a move to the hoop.

Instead, he saw I.J. Ready making a cut to the basket and found him with a slick pass through Arkansas' defense for the easy layup. The surprised crowd at Humphrey Coliseum erupted in celebration, enjoying a rare blowout win for the home team.

Mississippi State's prized freshman class showed signs of growing up on Tuesday night, and it was a big reason the Bulldogs cruised to a 78-46 victory over Arkansas.

Gavin Ware scored 21 points, freshman Quinndary Weatherspoon added 16 points and the Bulldogs dominated in pretty much every phase of the game.

''A lot of teams aren't successful early on, but they can make a big run at the end,'' Weatherspoon said. ''I think we really needed this game and it could spark that run.''

Arkansas took a 10-9 lead early in the first half, but Mississippi State (10-13, 3-8 Southeastern Conference) responded with the next 11 points and continued to pull away. The Bulldogs led 42-20 at halftime.

The loss snapped the Razorbacks' five-game winning streak in the series. Arkansas (12-12, 5-6) started with a cold shooting touch and could never recover, making just 16 of 72 (22.2 percent) attempts from the field.

''It seemed like there was a lid on the basket for us,'' Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. ''I'll have to go check and see. It was one of those nights - we just couldn't buy anything.''

Arkansas finished with just three assists.

''The odds of you winning a game with (numbers like that) aren't even slim to none,'' Anderson said.

The 6-foot-9 Ware had an efficient night for Mississippi State, shooting 6 of 9 from the field, 9 of 9 on free throws and grabbing 10 rebounds. Three Bulldogs - Ware, Weatherspoon and Travis Daniels - had 10 rebounds.

Ware said he was most proud of the team's defense.

''We clicked very well,'' Ware said. ''That was the biggest factor.''

Arkansas was led by 11 points from Jimmy Whitt.

It was a breakout performance for Mississippi State, which has mostly struggled during veteran coach Ben Howland's first season leading the program.

The Bulldogs received good production from three freshmen, including Weatherspoon, who shot 5 of 8 from the field. Malik Newman added six points and Holman chipped in with five points, four assists and six rebounds.

Mississippi State shot 27 of 51 from the field (52.9 percent) and had a 50-39 rebounding advantage.

Arkansas is just 1-9 in games away from home this season.

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TIP-INS

Arkansas: The Razorbacks ranked second in the country in 3-point percentage coming into Tuesday's game, shooting 42.6 percent from behind the arc. They made just 1 of 10 attempts against Mississippi State.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have won 13 of the past 15 against Arkansas at home ... Senior Fred Thomas made a free throw late in the second half to hit 1,000 points scored for his career.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State hosts Georgia on Saturday.

Arkansas travels to Mississippi on Saturday.

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Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

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