Mississippi St. 82, Xavier 70
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP)—Lawrence Roberts scored 21 points and Timmy Bowers added 19 as Mississippi State shot 52 percent from the floor Saturday and survived a second-half run for an 82-70 win over Xavier.
Mississippi State (7-0) never trailed as the Bulldogs shot 57.9 percent in the second half and made 24-of-28 from the free-throw line.
With the 11:32 remaining, Xavier (4-3) went on an 8-0 run to cut a Mississippi State lead to 54-50 with 9:39 left. Lionel Chalmers, who scored a game-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting, hit a 3-pointer to cap the run.
Xavier would get no closer.
Mississippi State pushed the lead back up to 60-52 on two free throws by Branden Vincent.
The Bulldogs went on an 11-2 run, sparked by five straight points from Vincent, who hit the free throws and converted a 3-point play to seal the victory.
Mississippi State led 40-34 at halftime behind Marcus Campbell’s 10 first-half points. Campbell finished with 16.
The Bulldogs were ahead 32-22 following a 3-pointer by Shane Power, but the Musketeers closed the first half with Dedrick Finn making eight of his 11 first-half points in the final six minutes. Finn finished with 20 points.