STARKVILLE, Miss. — Senior Kannon Burrage scored 15 points, but Wendell Lewis poured in 20 to help Mississippi State hold off UTSA, 53-42, on Tuesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
Playing their second consecutive game without senior point guard Michael Hale III, the Roadrunners (3-5) could not overcome a 27.3-percent shooting performance and 20 turnovers in their first game played in the state of Mississippi.
The Bulldogs (3-5) got 13 points from Craig Sword and shot 45.7 percent in remaining perfect at home in three tries.
After Fred Thomas drained a 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 26-17 lead early in the second half, junior Jeromie Hill, who posted eight points and seven rebounds, helped pull the Roadrunners to within three. The Australian drained a three from the right wing and then came up with a steal and slam dunk to make it 26-23 with 16:45 left.
However, the Bulldogs stretched the lead back out to nine with an 8-2 run over the next five minutes. Later, Thomas, who scored nine, found his range again with a jumper from the left elbow at the 6:42 mark to make it 42-32.
Sword later converted a three-point play to hand the Bulldogs their largest lead, 47-35, with 2:22 to play.
Burrage answered with a jumper and then made a pair at the free-throw line to pull the Roadrunners to within eight with 1:42 left, but Mississippi State answered with three layups over the next 1:10 to hold off the threat and secure the 11-point victory.
UTSA posted a 36-34 edge on the glass behind nine rebounds from junior Jordan Sims, eight from senior Larry Wilkins and Hill’s seven boards. Fifteen of those rebounds came on the offensive end, leading to 12 second-chance points.
In a low-scoring first half, the two teams traded the lead five times, but 10 UTSA turnovers led to nine Bulldogs points to help the home team build a six-point halftime advantage.
Burrage drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give UTSA an 11-6 lead with 13:12 remaining. The Bulldogs answered with an 8-0 run for a 3 three-point edge before Burrage knocked down his third trey of the frame to knot the score at 14-all.
Lewis gave the Bulldogs a 16-14 lead with 8:21 left in the first half, but neither team scored for a 6:32 stretch until Lewis drained a short baseline jumper at the 1:49 mark.
Mississippi State got a three from Thomas and basket from Sword in the final 1:03 and took a 23-17 lead into the locker room.
The Roadrunners will continue their season-long six-game road swing with their second meeting this season against USC Upstate (3-5) on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT). UTSA defeated the Spartans by a score of 67-59 on Nov. 17.