Bulldogs Fight Hard But Fall To Vols

Craig Sword led MSU with 19 points

Mississippi State could not build on the momentum. Fresh off a victory in their Southeastern Conference tournament opener, the Bulldogs could not make it two straight wins. No. 13 seed MSU battled valiantly, before falling to fifth-seeded Tennessee 69-53 in a quarterfinal round tournament game played Thursday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena.

Complete game stats

With the defeat, the Bulldogs finish the first season under new coach Rick Ray with a 10-22 overall record.

After MSU scored the game's first four points, Tennessee seized control with a 12-0 run. The Volunteers led 35-19 at halftime and enjoyed a healthy lead for most of the second half.

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 20 of 58 shots from the field (34.5 percent), 3 of 14 shots from 3-point range (21.4 percent) and 10 of 16 shots from the foul line (62.5 percent). The Volunteers hit 29 of 56 shots from the field (51.8 percent), 5 of 20 shots from 3-point range (25.0 percent) and 6 of 9 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent).

Tennessee held a 35-33 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had nine assists and 15 turnovers, while the Volunteers had 11 assists and 16 turnovers.

Craig Sword led MSU with 19 points, while Colin Borchert added 12 points and Trivante Bloodman added 10 points.

Tennessee received 17 points from Jordan McRae, followed by 15 points from Trae Golden and 10 points apiece from Jarnell Stokes and Quinton Chievous.

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