Stewart helps carry Mississippi State past South Carolina
AJ Lawson had 13 points to pace the Gamecocks, scoring his 1,000th-career point
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — D.J. Stewart Jr. scored 29 points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range and Mississippi State pulled away from South Carolina in the second half for a 75-59 win on Saturday.
AJ Lawson’s dunk with 13:44 remaining to brought the Gamecocks within 50-49. Mississippi State (11-9, 5-6 Southeastern Conference) responded with a 13-0 outburst over the next five minutes and South Carolina never recovered. The run started and ended with jump shots from Stewart.
Iverson Molinar scored 16 points for the Bulldogs who finished 26-for-56 (46%) including 10 for 19 (53%) from 3-point range.
South Carolina’s (5-7, 3-5) shooting fortunes were just the opposite as the Gamecocks were 19 for 61 (31%) and missed 20 of 25 3-point attempts.
Keyshawn Bryant and Lawson each scored 13 for the Gamecocks and Seventh Woods scored 10.
With the win, the Bulldogs avoided a fifth-straight SEC loss, which previously has happened twice in head coach Ben Howland’s six seasons at the Mississippi State helm.
Howland now is 4-3 against Gamecocks coach Frank Martin. Saturday’s game was the first in the last seven between the two teams where the victor won by more than six points.
The Gamecocks will play their second of a three-game home stand on Tuesday taking on No. 10-ranked Alabama. The Bulldogs head home to face LSU on Wednesday.
> South Carolina shot a season-low 31.1 percent (19-for-61) in today’s game. The Gamecocks were just 5-of-25 (20 percent) from behind the arc.
> Junior guard AJ Lawson became the 47th member of the South Carolina 1,000-point club with his second made free throw early in today’s contest. Lawson marks the sixth player to hit the 1,000-point mark under the direction of head coach Frank Martin following Michael Carrera, Sindarius Thornwell, Duane Notice, Chris Silva and Maik Kotsar. He finished with 13 points, his seventh double figure outing in eight SEC games.
> Junior wing Keyshawn Bryant also finished with 13 points off the bench.
> Redshirt senior Seventh Woods had 10 points, marking his third-straight game in double figures.
The Gamecocks continue their SEC homestand when they host league leader No. 10/7 Alabama (15-5, 10-1 SEC) on Tuesday night. Tip time vs. the Crimson Tide is set for 6:30 p.m. ET at Colonial Life Arena. It will be the only meeting between the two schools in SEC regular season play.