National Basketball Association
Mississippi State 79, Louisville 56
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
# Jeb Hartness, # Tony Chiazza, # Steve Oglesby
Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds Tuesday night as fourth-seeded Mississippi State routed second-seeded Louisville 79-56 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, earning a berth in the NIT semifinals.
Aric Holman netted 16 points while Nick Weatherspoon added 12 points and four assists for the Bulldogs, who will meet Penn State on March 27 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Xavian Stapleton also chipped in 12 points for Mississippi State (25-11).
Ray Spalding tallied 13 points and hauled in 11 rebounds for Louisville (22-14), and Deng Adel added 11 points. The Cardinals made only 35 percent of their shots from the floor and trailed for the last 33:24.
Louisville owned a 10-8 lead after Quentin Snyder drilled a 3-pointer with 4:48 left in the first quarter, but Mississippi State took command with a 12-2 spurt. Tyson Carter started the run with a 3-pointer, and Stapleton's trey gave the Bulldogs a 20-12 advantage after the opening 10 minutes.
The lead grew to 16 late in the second quarter when Holman swished a 3-pointer, but the Cardinals made a mini-run and went to the locker room trailing 39-28 after Adel converted a layup in the period's last minute.
Any thoughts of a comeback were quashed by a 10-1 spurt by the Bulldogs to start the third period. Holman's jumper at the 4:58 mark upped the lead to 49-29, and Mississippi State took a 59-41 advantage to the fourth quarter.
Dunking and mixing in 3-pointers seemingly at their pleasure, the Bulldogs expanded their advantage to 27 points in the final two minutes before the teams cleared their benches.
The result means Louisville is now in the market for a permanent replacement for Rick Pitino, which it fired on Oct. 16 for just cause amid NCAA sanctions. Interim coach David Padgett is not expected to earn the position, although his team just missed on an NCAA at-large berth despite the turmoil in the program.
Mississippi State outrebounded the Cardinals 42-32 and turned 16 turnovers into 18 points. The Bulldogs also boasted a 40-24 advantage in points in the paint, and they sank 47.7 percent of their shots from the floor.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Quinndary Weatherspoon 19
Ray Spalding 13
Lamar Peters 4
Deng Adel 3
Quinndary Weatherspoon 14
Ray Spalding 11
Quinndary Weatherspoon 6
||Free Throws Made
Deng Adel 2
Nick Weatherspoon 2
Dwayne Sutton 2
Abdul Ado 3
Ray Spalding 3
Team Stats Summary