Starkville, MS

Tolu Smith’s double-double leads Mississippi State past Lamar 75-60

Collin Wilmes

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Austin Perryman/MSU Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State redshirt junior forward Tolu Smith scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help lead the Bulldogs to a 75-60 win over Lamar on Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

Smith recorded his 10th career double-double, and the Bulldogs improved to 6-1, while the Cardinals fell to 1-7.

Junior guard Iverson Molinar led the Bulldogs in scoring with 17 points, while junior guard Rocket Watts had his best game as a Bulldog, finishing with 15 points. Graduate forward Garrison Brooks chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds.

As a team, MSU shot 25-for-54 (46.3%). including 7-for-18 (38.9%) from 3-point range. The Bulldogs, led by Smith with a game-high 11 rebounds, held a 44-24 rebounding edge.

The Cardinals shot 24-for-55 (43.6%) from the field and 6-for-19 (31.6%) on triples. Senior guard C.J. Roberts scored a game-high 25 points to lead the squad, while senior guard Davion Buster made three 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.

MSU scored 14 of the first 18 points of the game as the Bulldogs led 14-4 with 15:34 left in the first half.

The Cardinals trimmed MSU’s lead down to five points on two occasions, but the Bulldogs managed to hold a 38-30 halftime lead.

Roberts opened the second half with a jumper to make it 38-32, but that was as close as Lamar would get. The Bulldogs used a 13-2 spurt to go up 62-43 with 7:12 to play and MSU went on to win 75-60.

The Bulldogs return to action Sunday when they welcome the Minnesota Golden Gophers for a 1 p.m. CT tipoff. The contest will air on ESPNU.

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