JACKSON, MISS. (AP) – Johnny McCants scored 18 points in the game, including the jumper with two minutes left when New Mexico State deflected a Mississippi State rally to secure a 58-52 victory at the Mississippi Coliseum on Sunday.
The state of Mississippi reached 14 points forward, with 52 to 51 on Reggie Perry's score. McCants responded with a jumper at 2:02 to put the Aggies back in the lead and, after a Mississippi state foul, Evan Gilyard's basket in the painting took New Mexico State's lead to 55-52.
The state of Mississippi has turned the ball three times in the last 1:07.
McCants was shooting 7 out of 10, including 3 out of 6 behind the bow. He also had three rebounds, two blocked kicks and his steal with just under a minute of play helped seal the score for Aggies (8-6).
The defense of the state of New Mexico has kept the state of Mississippi without a field goal in the last 2:35.
The Aggies were never behind the first half with a lead of 23-21 at halftime and opened the second half in a 9-0 race to climb 32-21 with 18:03 remaining.
In a six-minute period, the state of Mississippi would race 19-6 to reduce Aggie's lead to 51-50 and take a lead of 52-51 on a Perry transition dunk with 2:36 remaining. Gilyard and McCants made two big steals, C.J. Bobbitt made a free throw and Jabari Rice hit two late in the sequence.
Gilyard scored 14 points on the 4 of 7 pitch, including 2 of 4 from the three-point range and made all four free throws.
Perry scored 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the state of Mississippi, while Tyson Carter scored 11 points for Bulldogs (8-3).
New Mexico State: Aggies Bank surpassed 23-3 in the state of Mississippi and reached 59% in the second half (13 of 22). The NMSU also had 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, which turned into an eight second chance. The NMSU is now between 3 and 9 of all time against Southeast Conference teams, with the last victory taking place on December 29, 1994 against Alabama.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs were 3-16 of the three points in the game and only 1-8 in the second half.
The State of New Mexico welcomes northern New Mexico on Sunday, December 29.
Mississippi State hosts Kent State on Monday, December 30.
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