Bulldogs Get High On The Hogs

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) _ Mississippi State had won 10 consecutive conference openers, but the 11th win Saturday was an impressive one. Tyrus Boswell scored a career-high 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Mississippi State (9-2) to an 87-73 victory over Arkansas, who had beaten the Bulldogs seven straight games. ``I am very happy with this victory,'' said Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury, who won his first game against the Razorbacks. ``Getting the win is not as important as the fact that it came against a very good basketball team.'' Robert Jackson had 12 points and 10 rebounds _ his seventh double-double of the season. Jannero Pargo scored 13 of Arkansas' first 16 second-half points, including three 3-pointers, to give the Razorbacks (9-4) a two-point lead four minutes into the second half. Pargo finished with a team-high 23 points. But Tang Hamilton's jumper at the 11:41 mark started a 23-4 run over a six minutes span to give Mississippi State an 80-60 lead with 5:11 remaining. The Razorbacks cut the Bulldogs' lead to 12 points with 1:14 left, but could not get any closer. ``Mississippi State played awfully good. Their big guys played really good,'' Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said. ``We'll go back to the drawing board. This is a tournament. There are 16 games (in the SEC season).'' ``We had a tremendous effort defensively,'' Stansbury said. ``That gave us a chance to stay in the game early, and then gave us a chance to extend the lead in the second half.'' Marckell Patterson and Hamilton scored 15 points each for the Bulldogs, who won despite shooting 4-of-21 (19 percent) from behind the 3-point line. Antonio Jackson added 12 points. Arkansas kept the game close in the first half, but the Razorbacks allowed Mississippi State to shoot 47 percent in the second half. Mississippi State led 38-33 at the half. Arkansas scored 15 of the game's first 21 points to take a commanding lead early in the first half. Mississippi State came back, drawing to within one, 18-17, with 8:53 remaining before grabbing the halftime lead. Teddy Gipson had 14 and Joe Johnson added 12 for the Razorbacks. ``Take away the three-pointers they had during those two runs to start the two halves, and I think we defended the perimeter very well,'' Stansberry said. ``To win the SEC West, you have to go through Arkansas.''