STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State used a balanced scoring attack to offset a hot shooting night by Jannero Pargo and knock off Arkansas, 87-73, in the Southeastern Conference opener for each club Saturday.
Five players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs (9-2) and two of those had double-doubles. Tyrus Boswell had 21 points and 11 rebounds while Robert Jackson had 12 points and 10 boards.
Pargo had a season-high 23 for the Razorbacks (9-4), but he had little help. He scored 11 straight Arkansas points early in the second half. His jumper with 16:05 to play helped erase a five-point halftime deficit and gave Arkansas a 49-48 lead. Joe Johnson’s jumper gave the Hogs a 54-52 advantage, but MSU, which snapped a seven-game losing streak to UA, went on a 22-4 run to take a 74-58 lead with 6:41 to go.
Arkansas shot 34 percent for the game and had 17 turnovers while forcing just 18. UA’s inside trio of Alonzo Lane, Larry Satchell and Dionisio Gomez were a combined three-of-12 from the field with 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, MSU’s front line of Boswell, Jackson and Tang Hamilton, who had 15 points and five rebounds, combined for 48 points and 26 boards.
The Bulldogs also had an advantage at the free-throw line where they were 27-of-33 while the Razorbacks were 17-of-21.
Teddy Gipson scored 14 points for the Hogs while Johnson added 12 and Brandon Dean eight.
Arkansas opens the home portion of its SEC schedule on Wednesday when No. 21 Ole Miss visits Bud Walton Arena for a 7 p.m. contest.