Mississippi State downs North Florida 109-81 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mississippi State downs North Florida 109-81

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

By PAUL JONES
Associated Press

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Aric Holman had 23 points to help Mississippi State pull away in the second half for a 109-81 win over North Florida on Saturday.

Holman was one of five Mississippi State players in double figures and the Bulldogs shot a season-best 62 percent from the field. The Bulldogs (12-1) also got 18 points from Quinndary Weatherspoon and Xavian Stapleton had 16 points, including 12 in the second half. Tyson Carter and Nick Weatherspoon each had 11 points for Mississippi State.

North Florida (5-11) was led by Trip Day's 17 points and JT Escobar chipped in 14 points, led by a 4 of 7 showing beyond the arc. Wajid Aminu and Ivan Ganida-Rosa also finished in double digits for the Ospreys with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Both teams were efficient on the offensive end in the first half and neither team held a lead larger than five points. The Bulldogs shot 55.3 percent in that opening half while the Ospreys shot 46.9 percent, including a 7 of 14 showing on 3 pointers.

The first half featured 10 ties and three lead changes before Mississippi State settled into a 47-43 halftime advantage.

BIG PICTURE

North Florida: The Ospreys have now lost four straight after posting a season-long, four-game winning streak earlier this month. North Florida has one more non-conference game left in the regular season before starting Atlantic Sun Conference play next Saturday.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs' 12-1 start is the program's best since starting 12-1 in the 2011-12 campaign. The 2011-12 squad went to the NIT, which is the last postseason appearance for Mississippi State's program.

UP NEXT

North Florida concludes non-conference action on Tuesday and play host to Florida National.

Mississippi State opens the SEC schedule on Tuesday as the Bulldogs host Arkansas.

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