Tolu Smith scored 16 points and Mississippi State never looked back after opening a big lead during a 79-42 rout of visiting South Dakota on Thursday night.
Cameron Matthews tallied 14 points and six rebounds, and D.J. Jeffries contributed 12 points and nine rebounds for the Southeastern Conference’s Bulldogs (4-0), who put 10 players in the scoring column. Smith also had six rebounds.
Mississippi State limited South Dakota to 29.6 percent shooting — 5 of 25 from 3-point range.
Paul Bruns scored 11 points for the Summit League’s Coyotes (2-2), who scored the game’s first basket and never led again.
Mississippi State shot 47 percent (34 of 72) and outrebounded South Dakota 47-32, including 21-12 on the offensive boards. The Bulldogs dominated the Coyotes by scoring both in the paint (46-18) and off turnovers (30-2).
The Bulldogs opened the game with a 15-2 run on the way to a 38-15 halftime lead. They shot 48.6 percent (18 of 37) despite hitting just 1 of 9 from behind the arc.
South Dakota’s Mason Archambault sank a jumper for the game’s first basket — and the Coyotes’ only lead — before Mississippi State reeled off 15 points. Matthews scored the first six in the run.
Mississippi State played 12 players, with nine scoring, during the first half and used speed to the ball and a size advantage to outscore South Dakota in the paint 26-2.
The Coyotes shot just 15.4 percent (4 of 26), including 2 of 13 from 3-point territory, and committed 11 first-half turnovers that led to 15 Mississippi State points.
–Field Level Media