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Late dunk rescues Mississippi St. in win over Murray St.

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Cameron Matthews dunked with 28.5 seconds left to put Mississippi State ahead for good Wednesday night, and the Bulldogs held off Murray State for an 85-81 nonconference win in Starkville, Miss.

D.J. Jeffries added two foul shots with 12.9 seconds remaining to make it 84-81, then hit one more free throw with 0.6 seconds on the clock to seal the outcome as the Bulldogs improved to 8-2 despite blowing a 19-point, second-half lead.

Shakeel Moore scored 16 points to lead four Mississippi State players in double figures. Freshman Josh Hubbard came off the bench to add 15, while Matthews tallied 13. Jeffries contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Bulldogs to a 29-20 advantage on the glass.

Rob Perry scored a game-high 21 points for the Racers (3-6), connecting on 5 of 9 3-point attempts. JaCobi Wood added 18 points and 10 assists while playing the full 40 minutes, and Quincy Anderson netted 17 points.

Wood, who scored his 1,000th career point late in the first half, had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but his open 3-point look from the corner banged off the front rim.

Mississippi State enjoyed a 34-17 advantage in free-throw attempts, making 24 to Murray State’s 13, and boasted a 36-24 cushion in points in the paint.

The first half was defense-optional, particularly at Murray State’s end. At one point in the half, Mississippi State canned 13 consecutive field-goal tries and was 15 of 16 from the field.

The Racers were able to match their hosts for most of the half but eventually fell behind by double figures because they couldn’t get a stop. The Bulldogs scored 40 points on their first 23 possessions.

Moore was particularly unstoppable in the half, requiring only four shots to score 14 points as he went 4 of 4 from the field, 2 of 2 from 3-point range and 4 of 4 at the foul line. Mississippi State led by as many as 15 before settling for a 53-41 advantage at the break.

–Field Level Media

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