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Gamecocks Come Up Short at Mississippi State, 76-61
Men's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks Come Up Short at Mississippi State, 76-61

by By: DAVID BRANDT (Associated Press)

A.J. Lawson led South Carolina with 18 points (6-of-11 FG)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Reggie Perry tied a career-high with 21 points, Quinndary Weatherspoon added 17 and Mississippi State rallied in the second half to beat South Carolina 76-61 on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (20-7, 8-6 Southeastern Conference) won their fourth straight game. They split the season series against South Carolina after losing the first game 87-82 in overtime on Jan. 8.

South Carolina (14-13, 9-5) opened a 41-29 lead early in the second half, but Mississippi State quickly stormed back and took a 46-45 lead when Aric Holman threw down a dunk with 15:11 remaining. The Bulldogs never trailed during the final 13 minutes.

Perry, a 6-foot-10 freshman, shot 7-of-12 from the field and 7-of-7 on free throws. He added six rebounds.

Mississippi State shot 65 percent from the field in the second half, slowly pulling away in the final minutes. South Carolina made just eight field goals in the second half.

A.J. Lawson led the Gamecocks with 18 points.

South Carolina dominated most of the first half, pushing to a 19-6 lead after Mississippi State made just one field goal during the first 11 minutes. The Gamecocks led 30-14 with four minutes remaining before halftime, but the Bulldogs closed the gap to 36-29 by the break.

> South Carolina was just 8-for-25 (32 percent) from the field in the second half tonight in Starkville. Mississippi State shot 65 percent the final 20 minutes (17-for-26).
> Freshman guard A.J. Lawson scored 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He went 3-of-5 from behind the arc.
> Lawson played a team-high 37 minutes, marking the 14th time in the team’s last 15 games he’s played 30 or more minutes.
> Junior forward Maik Kotsar had 13 points and five rebounds, his first double-figure outing since scoring a career-high 25 in the team’s first meeting with the Bulldogs back in January.
> Sophomore forward Felipe Haase had nine points off the bench after going 3-for-4 from behind the arc.

The Gamecocks will play two of their final four games at home, beginning on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET when Alabama travels to Columbia in a crucial SEC contest at Colonial Life Arena. The meeting is the only between the two schools this season. Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Paul Biancardi (analyst) will have the call for ESPN2.