Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Aggies fall to Mississippi State, 80-54

March 15, 2019 - 12:05 am
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Lamar Peters scored 15 points, and Mississippi State routed Texas A&M 80-54 Thursday night in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Bulldogs (23-9) now have won seven of their last nine with their second win over Texas A&M in six days. Mississippi State beat the Aggies by 92-81 in Starkville to wrap up the regular season, and their first game ever in this tournament was never that close as the Bulldogs never trailed.

Sixth-seeded Mississippi State now will play No. 8 Tennessee for a second straight year in the quarterfinals Friday night in another rematch from the Bulldogs' final week of the regular season. Tennessee won that game 71-54 in Knoxville and also knocked Mississippi State out of the tournament last year.

Related: Boxscore: Mississippi State 80, Texas A&M 54

No. 11 seed Texas A&M (14-18) finished up a painful season that only got worse when sophomore guard TJ Starks dislocated a shoulder Feb. 26 in a loss at LSU. Starks not only averaged 12.3 points a game, he also led the Aggies in assists. His injury left coach Billy Kennedy with seven scholarship players.

Tyson Carter scored 14 points for Mississippi State, and Quinndary Weatherspoon added 12.

Savion Flagg led Texas A&M with 21 points and 10 rebounds a night after scoring a career-high 29 points. Brandon Mahan had 10.

Peters opened the game with a 3 for Mississippi State, and Weatherspoon added a 3 as the Bulldogs built a double-digit lead within the first six minutes at 15-4 on a 3-point play by Abdul Ado. From there, the Bulldogs just kept padding the lead to as much as 17 late before Flagg scored on a fast-break layup to trim the halftime margin to 38-23.

It only got worse in the second half where the Bulldogs' biggest issue was a warning to coach Ben Howland to get back inside the coach's box. Robert Woodard II finished off a 3-point play to push Mississippi State's lead to 50-30 with 14:21 to go, and the Bulldogs pushed the lead to as much as 30 on a 3-pointer by Peters with 4:06 left.

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