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Mississippi State uses extended runs to turn back North Texas

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KeShawn Murphy scored 18 points off the bench, D.J. Jeffries added 13 and Mississippi State pulled away from North Texas for a 72-54 victory Sunday in Tupelo, Miss.

Josh Hubbard scored 11 and Cameron Matthews had 12 rebounds, nine points and seven assists for the Bulldogs (9-2), who finished the first half with a 22-7 run and started the second half with an 18-4 run.

Rubin Jones scored 20 points, Jason Edwards scored 11 and Aaron Scott added 10 to lead the Mean Green (5-5).

Mississippi State scored 22 points off 16 North Texas turnovers, and North Texas had just two points off three Bulldogs turnovers.

Jimmy Bell Jr. and Jeffries made consecutive baskets to start the second-half scoring and extend Mississippi State’s lead to 40-32.

North Texas got within six points twice before Jeffries made two field goals during a 12-0 run that gave the Bulldogs a 54-36 lead.

Jones converted a three-point play for the Mean Green’s first field goal in 3 1/2 minutes and added three more free throws to trim the lead to 12.

Hubbard made a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 run that gave Mississippi State a 63-42 advantage with less than nine minutes remaining. The 21-point edge was the Bulldogs’ largest of the game.

CJ Noland made two baskets and Edwards and Scott each made a 3-pointer as the Mean Green raced to a 10-1 lead.

The Bulldogs didn’t make a field goal until Matthews hit a layup more than 5 1/2 minutes into the game, but they crept within 16-12 on a jumper by Murphy.

Jones and John Buggs III each made a 3-pointer, Scott converted a three-point play and North Texas expanded its lead to 25-14.

Dashawn Davis and Hubbard sank consecutive 3-pointers during a 16-5 run that pulled Mississippi State even at 30.

The Mean Green regained the lead on a layup by Scott, but another 3-pointer by Hubbard and a dunk by Murphy gave the Bulldogs a 36-32 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

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