Bulldogs Blitz Montana State

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (5-2) took an early lead and never looked back, using a combination of inside dominance and timely outside shooting to rout visiting Montana State (4-4), 81-63, Saturday afternoon in Humphrey Coliseum. Marckell Patterson led a pair of Bulldogs in double-figures, going 8-9 from the field and 4-4 from beyond the arch to finish with 20 points. Robert Jackson scored his fifth double-double of the season, grabbing 11 rebounds and scoring 14 points. Kyle Stirmlinger paced the Bobcats with 12 points. Montana State's top two scorers -- Justin Brown and John Lazosky -- were limited to a combined 12 points on just 3-of-13 shooting from the field. "I am much more pleased with the game today," said Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury. "We won the game last Tuesday night, but I wasn't as pleased with the effort and the way we played (Louisiana Tech). Today we played well defensively. We held their two best players in check and had a great energy level. Montana State came into the game shooting near 48 percent from three-point range and I think we did a superb job in defending their long-range shots." Entering the weekend leading the SEC in rebounding and rebounding margin, the Bulldogs used a commanding 45-26 advantage on the boards in the 18-point non-conference win. Clutching onto a six-point lead after the break, Mississippi State opened the second stanza with a 10-2 run that gave the hosts a 14-point lead just three minutes in. Tyrus Boswell's jumper at the 10:37 mark opened up a 9-0 run that pushed State's lead to 20 with just less than seven minutes to play before Mario Austin's layup with 3:58 left to play gave Mississippi State its largest lead of the game, 69-46. Mississippi State stormed out of the gates, using a dunk by Patterson to take a nine-point lead at the 12:52 mark. After Montana State widdled its deficit to two just less than two minutes later, Patterson, who scored 15 of State's first 17 points of the game, led a charge by Mississippi State that helped push the host lead to 10 with 1:33 left to play in the opening half. The visiting Bobcats used a scoring spurt in the waning moments to go into halftime with just a six-point disadvantage.