Mississippi State dumps Texas State 68-51

D.J. Stewart Jr. racked up 13 of his career-high 23 points in the second half as Mississippi State stretched a two-point halftime edge into a 68-51 victory over Texas State for head coach Ben Howland‘s 500th career win during Monday’s home opener at Humphrey Coliseum.
 
The Bulldogs (1-2) have amassed 11 straight wins in home openers dating back to the 2009-10 season. Four of the six victories during the Howland era have come by double digit points.

For Stewart Jr., he was 9-of-14 from the floor and dialed up a career-best five triples. He also added three rebounds and two assists. Stewart Jr. has ripped off 20-plus points in back-to-back games.
 
Tolu Smith worked his way to 12 points and five rebounds. He was an efficient 6-of-7 at the free throw line and joined Stewart Jr. in double figures during Mississippi State’s first three games on the young season.
 
Quinten Post and Javian Davis provided a lift off the bench with strong all-around efforts. Post registered career-highs with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks followed by Davis, who turned in seven points and eight rebounds.  
 
Abdul Ado notched seven points, five rebounds and two blocks. The two rejections enabled him to surpass Kalpatrick Wells (1980-81-82-83) into sole possession fifth place in program history whereas the five rebounds moved him past Terry Kusnierz (1972-73-74) into sole possession of 23rd place on MSU’s rebounding list.

Jalen Johnson chipped in six points and four rebounds as the Bulldogs held a 24-18 advantage in bench points. The Maroon and White won the battle of the boards for a third straight game by a healthy 46-27 margin. State piled up 15 offensive rebounds and collected 15 of the game’s 21 points on second chance opportunities.  
 
Mississippi State received solid contributions from its freshmen class. Cameron Matthews garnered five assists against zero turnovers and secured two steals. Deivon Smith came away with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Keondre Montgomery knocked down his first career points in Maroon and White.
 
For the contest, MSU registered a 25-for-58 shooting clip (43.1 percent), 9-of-23 on three-pointers (39.1 percent) and 9-of-12 at the foul line (75.0 percent)
 
The Bulldogs handed out 17 assists against 15 turnovers. State hit on 15 of its 25 field goals inside the paint en route to 30-18 edge in paint points.  
 
Texas State (2-1) was bottled up for a 17-of-53 mark from the field (32.1 percent), misfired on 11 of its 15 three-point attempts (26.7 percent) and sank 13-of-18 of its foul shots (72.2 percent). The Bobcats were led by 15 points courtesy of Mason Harrell.