COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Shakeel Moore scored a career-high 22 points, Tolu Smith had 15 points and eight rebounds and Mississippi State beat South Carolina 66-51 on Tuesday night for its second SEC victory of the season.
Mississippi State (14-8, 2-7), which was coming off an 81-74 victory over No. 11 TCU behind Smith’s career-high 27 points and 13 rebounds, posted back-to-back victories for the first time since opening the season 11-0.
Mississippi State closed the first half on an 11-4 run and opened the second by scoring six straight points for a 38-26 lead. The Bulldogs extended it to 66-46 after making seven straight shots and holding South Carolina without a field goal for four-plus minutes.
Tyler Stevenson added 12 points off the bench for Mississippi State (14-8, 2-7). Moore had three of Mississippi State’s 11 steals, leading to a 19-2 edge in fast-break points.
Freshman Gregory Jackson II scored 15 points on 4-of-14 shooting and Meechie Johnson added 13 for South Carolina (8-14, 1-8). Josh Gray grabbed 14 rebounds. The Gamecocks were held to 34% shooting and turned it over 18 times.
Both teams play again on Saturday. Mississippi State hosts Missouri and South Carolina stays home against Arkansas in hopes of snapping a six-game losing streak.