<
>

Mississippi State tops MVSU 94-72

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Gavin Ware scored 23 points, Colin Borchert added 14 and Mississippi State cruised past Mississippi Valley State 94-72 on Tuesday night.

Ware had a productive and efficient night for the Bulldogs, shooting 8 of 11 from the field and grabbing 11 rebounds. Mississippi State shot 52 percent (35 of 67) from the field and had a 41-27 advantage rebounding.

Mississippi State (3-0) started the season with three straight wins for the first time in three seasons. Roquez Johnson added 12 points while Craig Sword had 10.

Mississippi Valley State (1-3) was led by DeAngelo Priar's 19 points. The Delta Devils had 18 turnovers.

The Bulldogs never trailed, pushing out to a 44-29 lead by halftime. The 94 points was the second-highest point total for Mississippi State under second-year coach Rick Ray.

Mississippi State made an obvious effort to get the ball to Ware early in the first half. The 6-foot-9, 270-pound sophomore has noticeably trimmed down since last season and used some nimble moves to score on the first two possessions. He led the Bulldogs with 13 points in the first half.

Mississippi State led 15-6 four minutes into the game and was never seriously challenged, though the Delta Devils kept things relatively close for most of the night. A layup by MVSU's James Currington cut the Bulldogs' lead to 52-43 with 15:17 remaining, but the Delta Devils couldn't get any closer.

It was Mississippi State's first game without point guard I.J. Ready, who strained a hamstring in the team's win against Kennesaw State on Thursday. The Bulldogs managed with a point guard rotation of Trivante Bloodman and Jacoby Davis -- which will likely be used until Ready's scheduled return in a few weeks.

The Bulldogs have a much tougher game on Saturday, with a road matchup against Utah State.