March 13, 2012

Bulldogs outsted in double overtime

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Mississippi State's downward spiral down the stretch came to a end Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

The Bulldogs overcame a lethargic start and rallied back to force an overtime and then another. But Massachusetts weathered the comeback and advanced onward with a 101-96 victory at Humphrey Coliseum.

"I was awful proud of our guys for not laying down and not quitting," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "They kept fighting. They kept fighting. They kept fighting. We kind of ran out of some bodies and those guys who were on that floor were competing and that's all I asked of them."

The Minutemen (23-11) achieved their largest lead of the night at 14 points at the 15:08 mark of the second half. But over the next seven minutes MSU went on a 20-7 run to take their first lead of the contest.

UMass was able to stretch their advantage back to four points but a jumper and two free throws by Arnett Moultrie tied the score and forced the first overtime period.

The Minutemen once again appeared to be on the verge of victory in the initial overtime up by three with 35-seconds left. But Jalen Steele drilled a deep trey to tie things up once more and extend the game to a second overtime.

This time however the Bulldogs were unable to mount another comeback being outscored 11-6 putting an end to their season at 21-12.

UMass shot 43.3-percent for the game and committed only 12 turnovers in 50 minutes of play. They advance to play at Seton Hall in the second round on Saturday.

"Every time we threw a jab, MSU came back with one of their own," said UMass head coach Derek Kellogg. "I think we forced them to play smaller than they are accustomed to with our press. We were fortunate to come away with a win."

Chaz Williams led the Minutemen with 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting and also dished out six assists.



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