STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tolu Smith scored 24 points, his second-highest total of the season, and Mississippi State cruised to an 82-52 win over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday.
Mississippi State goes to 8-0 to start the season, making Chris Jans one of just three coaches to remain unbeaten in their first season.
Alvin Stredic scored on a layup more than eight minutes into the game to pull Mississippi Valley State (1-9) within three, 17-14, but the Bulldogs answered with a 9-2 run, then pulled away to take a 38-22 lead at intermission.
Smith hit 8 of 12 shots from the floor and was 8 of 14 from the line for Mississippi State. D.J. Jeffries added 12 points and 11 of the 13 players who played for the Bulldogs scored.
Danny Washington and Terry Collins each scored 14 points to lead the Delta Devils, who hit 8 of 15 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. Kadar Waller contributed 12 points off the bench and Arecko Gipson added 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while dishing out five assists.
The Delta Devils actually outperformed the averages against the stout Bulldogs' defense. Mississippi State came in allowing an average of 49.3 points per game and holding its opposition to just 34 percent shooting from the field. Mississippi Valley State shot 38.8%.
Mississippi Valley State lost for the fifth straight game, all on the road, and play six more road games before playing host to Prairie View on Jan. 7. The Delta Devils will play 13 of their first 16 games on the road.
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