Friday, December 20, 2013
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Mississippi State 66, Florida Gulf Coast 53

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[December 20, 2013]  STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State 66, Florida Gulf Coast 53: Craig Sword led five players in double figures with 17 points as the Bulldogs took down the visiting Eagles.

I.J. Ready collected 12 points and five of Mississippi State’s 15 steals as the Bulldogs (8-2) forced 21 turnovers. Gavin Ware, Roquez Johnson and Fred Thomas each added 10 points for Mississippi State.

Brett Comer scored 15 points to lead Florida Gulf Coast (5-6), which slipped to 1-5 on the road. Chase Fieler contributed 11 points while leading scorer Bernard Thompson was held to 10 on 4-of-10 shooting.

The Bulldogs held the Eagles without a field goal for over 5 1/2 minutes late in the first half to grab a 29-20 lead. It reached double figures briefly before Comer’s jumper in front of the buzzer cut it to 32-24 at the break.

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Sword scored Mississippi State’s first five points of the second half and the lead grew to as much as 15 points with 4:32 left before Comer’s 3-pointer capped a 6-0 burst and cut it back to single digits with 3:09 to play. Ready stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer and the Bulldogs put it away.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Mississippi State’s reserves outscored Florida Gulf Coast’s bench 25-4. … The Bulldogs had a slim 33-30 lead on the glass to improve to 6-0 when outrebounding their opponents. … The meeting was part of the regional round of the Las Vegas Classic, which moves to Las Vegas over the weekend.

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