Cunningham sparks MSU off bench

February 13, 2014 10:53:08 AM

Matthew Stevens - [email protected]


STARKVILLE -- Tyson Cunningham was part of the best stretch the Mississippi State men's basketball team had Wednesday in a 75-55 loss to Georgia. 


The 6-foot-3 senior guard from Columbus nailed a 3-pointer from the corner while being fouled to give MSU a 17-8 lead with 11 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half. Cunningham, who has averaged 8.4 minutes per game this season, tied a season-high with six points.  


MSU (13-11, 3-8 Southeastern Conference) built a 22-8 lead but was outscored 20-5 in the final 10 minutes of the first half and trailed 28-27 at halftime.  


"I believe we were basing everything off our offense and once our shots weren't falling, we weren't staying focused on the defensive end," Cunningham said. "We just had to get stops and we weren't getting them." 


Cunningham, one of two seniors on the team, said he can see drastic differences between the 13-game losing stretch last season and what's happening now.  


"We're more mature, and last year we were young and some things just happened," Cunningham said. "This year, I believe some of it is in our control and we can correct and change individually to help the team get better." 


Since Dec. 1, Cunningham hadn't played more than 13 minutes in a game. The former standout at Columbus High School played 13 minutes against Georgia. 




Booneville native Geno scores career-high six points off Georgia's bench 


In front of many friends and family, Georgia freshman guard Kenny Paul Geno had six points in career high 14 minutes.  


The Booneville native, who led the Blue Devils to the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A state title last year, had played 14 minutes in the Southeastern Conference prior to Wednesday's game. 


Geno averaged 23.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game at Booneville last year. The 6-foot-6 forward had three field goals on a pair of runners in the lane and a tip-in.  


Geno signed with Georgia on April 17 after receiving scholarship offers from Jackson State, Lamar, Mercer, Middle Tennessee State, and Radford. 




Wilson not active after suffering migraines  


MSU freshman forward De'Runnya Wilson was inactive for the game due to migraine headaches. School officials said Wilson had "serious dental work" earlier in the week that caused the headaches. 


Wilson had seen action off the bench in the team's past two games against Texas A&M and Kentucky. The 6-foot-5 forward received a standing ovation from the Humphrey Coliseum crowd last weekend when he checked in for his first home game against Kentucky. 


As a backup at wide receiver, Wilson made 26 catches for 351 yards and three touchdowns last season. He didn't become an active walk-on on the basketball team until mid-January.  


Wilson, who was averaging 4.3 minutes per game in four games, was a two-sport standout at Wenonah High School in Birmingham, Ala., where he averaged double figures in scoring and rebounding as a senior. Wilson turned down Division I basketball scholarship offers from Auburn, UAB, and Murray State. 


Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.