Bell Jr., Matthews each with double-doubles, Mississippi St. moves to 10-2 with win over Rutgers
Dec 23, 2023, 02:41 pm
Mississippi State (10-2), which was ranked No. 21 before losing consecutive games to Georgia Tech and Southern, has won four straight.
Matthews scored 18 points on 6-of-7 shooing from the floor and made all six of his free throws to go with 11 rebounds. Bell scored a season-best 17 points, grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds while matching a career best with three blocked shots.
Aundre Hyatt made three 3-pointers, scored 18 points and had six rebounds to lead Rutgers (7-4). Cliff Omoruyi, who posted a career-high 25 points and had 11 rebounds in the Scarlet Knights’ 83-61 win over Long Island, scored three points in 20 minutes against the Bulldogs.
Rutgers scored the last five points of the first half to tie it 29-all. Jamichael Davis hit a jumper with 1:01 remaining, and then Hyatt forced a turnover with four seconds left and hit a 3 at the buzzer.
But Mississippi State led the entire second half, with Matthews scoring on consecutive dunks during a 7-0 surge to stretch the Bulldogs’ lead to 49-37 with 10:25 to play. A Davis jumper made it a 15-point Bulldogs advantage with 5:42 remaining.
It was Rutgers’ first meeting against a SEC opponent since 2014, when the Scarlet Knights beat Vanderbilt at the Barclays Center.
Rutgers hosts Stonehill on Saturday before returning to Big Ten Conference play, with three of the first four contests on the road, starting at Ohio State on Jan. 3.
Mississippi State is at home to face Bethune-Cookman on New Year’s Eve and plays at South Carolina on Jan. 6 in a SEC matchup.
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