STARKVILLE, Miss (AP) — Tolu Smith had a season-high 27 points, 13 rebounds and five assists to lead Mississippi State to an 81-74 overtime victory over No. 11 TCU on Saturday.
Dashawn Davis added 16 points to help Mississippi State (13-8) snap a five-game losing streak. Shakeel Moore had 11, including six in overtime, while Cameron Matthews had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Tyler Stevenson also added 10 points off the Bulldogs’ bench.
“For me it was an exhale,” said Mississippi State head coach Chris Jans. “For the guys it was super-excited, joyous, celebrating a win. We didn’t address it that much. I told them how proud I was of them during this stretch because it’s real easy to start listening to noise and other people. I understand how that works and you start questioning things. But they kept with it.”
Smith was 9 of 11 from the field and 4 of 6 at the foul line against TCU. He also added four blocked shots in his 36 minutes of action.
“We’ve been in those situations before, especially recently against Alabama,” said Smith. “I have some amazing teammates and win, lose or draw, we have to keep going. But it was good to exhale with that win, for us and our fans and our program.”
Damion Baugh led TCU (16-5) with 19 points and Emanuel Miller had 13. Shahada Wells and Jakobe Coles each had 12 for the Horned Frogs and Chuck O’Bannon had 10.
Davis’ 3 pointer with 55 seconds left in the second half gave the Bulldogs a 66-64 advantage. Emanuel Miller scored with 32 seconds remaining and then both teams missed chances to win in regulation.
Mississippi State took the lead for good in overtime thanks to back to back 3 pointers from Moore.
“No excuses,” said TCU head coach Jamie Dixon. “Like I told my guys, you have to find a way. You don’t get outrebounded by nine (42-33) and that’s not the answer. It didn’t go our way. We came in with some guys down but you have to be prepared. That happens to everybody and you have to find a way to get it done.”
Mississippi State controlled most of the first half and led 23-11 after a Dashawn Davis 3 pointer with 7:14 left in the half. The Bulldogs led 30-19 headed down the final minutes of the opening half but TCU cut the deficit to 31-25 at halftime.
TCU shot just 34% in the first half and made just 2 of 10 behind the 3 point arc. Both teams had seven turnovers and Mississippi State held a 21-15 rebounding edge in the first half.
TCU: The Horned Frogs were without starting center Eddie Lampkin Jr. on Saturday along with reserve guard Rondel Walker. Then in the opening minutes against Mississippi State, leading scorer Mike Miles Jr. suffered a leg injury and did not play the rest of the game.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs had lost seven of their last eight games before Saturday’s win over TCU. Mississippi State finished the non-conference slate with a 12-1 mark with the lone loss to Drake.
TCU: On Tuesday, the Horned Frogs host West Virginia.
Mississippi State: On Tuesday, the Bulldogs travel to South Carolina.