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Stewart helps Bulldogs overtake Missouri
Former Poplar Bluff star Ben Hansbrough scored 15 points in Mississippi State's 87-75 victory.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Barry Stewart set career highs of 24 points and seven assists and started a game-winning rally with a 3-pointer as Mississippi State beat Missouri 87-75 Sunday.
The Bulldogs (8-5) lost a 12-point lead early in the second half but recovered late after Stewart hit the 3 and Jamont Gordon tipped in a missed shot on consecutive possessions in the final four minutes.
Gordon had 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists as Mississippi State won its third straight. Former Poplar Bluff standout Ben Hansbrough added 15 points and eight rebounds, and freshman Phil Turner had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers (9-5) were led by guard Matt Lawrence, whose 28 points were a career high. Stefhon Hannah added 16 points and seven assists before fouling out, while DeMarre Carroll added 12 points before also fouling out.
The Bulldogs led 41-38 at halftime, but Missouri tied the game early in the second half. Mississippi State responded with an 11-0 run that gave the team a 56-44 lead with 14 minutes left. Stewart had six points during the run.
Missouri responded with its own 10-0 run, and with eight minutes left in the game the teams were tied at 62-62.
With 4:36 left and Mississippi State leading 68-66, Stewart hit a deep 3-pointer. After a Missouri turnover, Gordon tipped in a Jarvis Varnado shot to extend the lead to seven and Missouri didn't threaten the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs managed only seven points from their bench, but were able to force the Tigers into foul trouble and earn their way to the line. They made 20 of 30 free throws and outrebounded the Tigers 43-33.
Mississippi State dominated play under the basket, earning a 42-26 advantage in the paint without center Charles Rhodes, who sat out with a sprained ankle.
Mississippi State also shot 52 percent from the field, the third straight game the team has hit more than 50 percent of its shots.
Missouri will be off until Jan. 8, when it will host the University of Missouri-Kansas City.