Smith leads balanced Mississippi St. attack sinking Omaha

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tolu Smith scored 12 points, D.J. Jeffries scored 10, 11 Mississippi State players entered the scoring column and the Bulldogs used the second half to pull away from Omaha for a 74-54 win on Monday night.

At 7-0, the Bulldogs are off to their best start since the 2017-18 season when they won their first eight.

Jaeden Marshall’s 3-pointer with 16:52 remaining reduced Omaha’s deficit to 38-31, but a scoring drought that lasted almost eight minutes for the Mavericks allowed for an 18-0 run and the Bulldogs were never threatened again.

KeShawn Murphy’s jump shot with 4:08 left before intermission started a 13-5 spurt to close the half and Mississippi State established its first double-digit lead of the game at 34-24.

Frankie Fildler scored 10 for Omaha and reserve Tony Osburn scored 10 shooting 4 for 5.

In 14 halves of basketball this season, Mississippi State has allowed 25 points or fewer in six.

Monday’s meeting was the first ever between the two teams. Mississippi State is now 8-2 against Summit League opponents including a 79-42 win against South Dakota on Nov. 17.

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