December 23, 2010 7:36:00 AM
HONOLULU -- Second-half shooting woes proved to be costly Wednesday for the Mississippi State men''s basketball team, as Washington State overcame a halftime deficit to earn an 83-57 victory in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.
MSU (7-4) led 40-39 at halftime and extended the lead to 45-43 following back-to-back dunks by Kodi Augustus (team-high 19 points). But the Cougars used a 24-3 run to take control of the game.
"We just couldn''t make shots in the second half, and turnovers killed us," said MSU coach Rick Stansbury, whose team will play San Diego at 3:30 p.m. today. "We knew coming in we had to be at our best to beat a very good Washington State team. I thought Kodi stepped up and hit some shots for us. We''ve got to put this behind us and move forward."
Down 45-43, Abe Lodwick drained a 3-pointer to give the Cougars a 46-45 advantage, one they would never relinquish. That shot ignited a 14-0 run, one that ended on a Wendell Lewis dunk with 13:01 left to close the gap to 57-47. However, MSU would get no closer.
MSU shot 8 of 28 (28.6 percent) in the second half, while Washington State was 12 of 24, including 9 of 16 from 3-point range.
For the game, MSU was 19 of 55 and WSU 31 of 62.
MSU also had a season-high 24 turnovers, and WSU converted those miscues into 24 points. WSU also won the battle of the boards, 42-29.
"You can''t have 24 turnovers and expect to beat anybody, let alone a team like Washington State," Stansbury said.
Klay Thompson paced the Cougars with 28 points, while Faisal Aden came off the bench to add 20.
"We knew the type of player Thompson was coming in," Stansbury said. "No question he makes their offense go."
Thompson entered the game averaging a team-high 21 points.
Ravern Johnson, MSU''s leading scoring at 22.4 points, but was limited to just three on 1-of-10 shooting. It was his lowest scoring total since totaling three against Auburn at home last season.
MSU went into the break up 40-39 thanks to a buzzer-beater by Brian Bryant, who had nine of his 14 points in the first half.
The Bulldogs trailed by as many as eight, 25-27, midway through the opening frame on a 3-pointer by Thompson. However, MSU used an 18-9 run and went up 35-34 on three free throws by Augustus, who had 13 of his points in the first 20 minutes.
After the Cougars regained the lead, a 3-pointer by Riley Benock put MSU back on top at 38-36.
MSU enjoyed the lead at intermission despite 11 turnovers WSU converted into 13 points.