Mississippi State rides big first half past Texas A&M 92-81

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Lamar Peters had 21 points and Quinndary Weatherspoon added 20 as Mississippi State defeated Texas A&M 92-81 on Saturday.

Peters made 5 of 10 beyond the arc and has now totaled 1,002 career points in his three years at Mississippi State. Tyson Carter added 18 points for the Bulldogs (22-9 overall, 10-8 in the SEC). Aric Holman had 16 points and nine rebounds, and also moved past the 1,000-point mark for his career.

Savion Flagg led Texas A&M (13-17, 6-12) with 22 points while Jay Jay Chandler and Wendell Mitchell had 15 and 14 points, respectively. Christian Mekowulu had 11 points and a game-high 15 boards and Mark French had 10 points.

Mississippi State led for the majority of the first half and jumped out to a 10-6 advantage following a Peters 3 pointer. The visiting Aggies kept things close for the most part, however, as Mitchell and Chandler combined for 22 first-half points.

Thanks to a pair of late 3 pointers by Carter, the Bulldogs closed out the half on an 11-3 run and held a 46-34 lead at halftime. Led by Carter's 5 of 6 showing on 3 pointers, Mississippi State made 9 of 17 beyond the arc in the first half and held a 19-11 rebounding advantage at the break.

Texas A&M shot 46 percent from the field in the first half and had six turnovers. 

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: The Aggies have now dropped three of their last four meetings heading into the SEC Tournament. Barring a run in the SEC Tournament, Texas A&M is staring at the program's first losing season in four years.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs' 10 SEC victories this season marks the most conference wins since the 2007-08 season. Owning 18 SEC wins the past two seasons, that marks the program's highest two-year total since the 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns.

UP NEXT

Texas A&M: The Aggies will open SEC Tournament play Wednesday against Vanderbilt.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs open SEC Tournament play on Thursday.

Texas A&M Basketball Postgame Notes
Mississippi State 92, Texas A&M 81
Humphrey Coliseum (Starkville, Mississippi)

ABOUT THE GAME

The Aggies finished the regular season at 13-17 on the year, 6-12 in SEC play after falling, 92-81, at Mississippi State on Saturday afternoon.
Mississippi State led for the majority of the first half, though the Aggies were able to keep it within two possessions most of the way.
A&M let the Bulldogs close out the first half on a 9-2 run to take a 46-34 lead into the break.
Mississippi State remained in control the rest of the way, as the Aggies were only able to cut it to nine early on.

TEAM NOTES

A&M saw five players score in double figures for the fourth time this season.
The Aggies used the starting lineup of Chris Collins, Wendell Mitchell, Savion Flagg, Josh Nebo and Christian Mekowulu for the first time this season.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

Sophomore Savion Flagg led the way, recording his ninth 20-point game of the season as he finished with 23 points.
Sophomore Jay Jay Chandler put up 15 points, scoring in double figures in back-to-back games.
Graduate student Christian Mekowulu recorded his fourth double-double of the year and second in the last three games, scoring 11 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Junior Wendell Mitchell was plagued by foul trouble in the second half, but a strong first half allowed him to finish with 14 points and a career-high five steals.
Junior Mark French knocked down a pair of threes to help him earn his first double-figure scoring game of his career, adding 10 points and three rebounds off the bench.
Billy Kennedy is now 150-115 in his eight-year tenure at Texas A&M and 361-294 in his 21 seasons as a head coach.

UP NEXT
The Aggies await seeding for the SEC Tournament, which begins Wednesday, March 13 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Check back at 12thMan.com and @AggieMBK on Twitter for more details.