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Recap: South Carolina 54, Mississippi St 56
Line Movements
Date: January 09, 2013 8:00 PM EDT
  

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Craig Sword scored 18 points, Roquez Johnson added 14 and Mississippi State edged South Carolina 56-54 on Wednesday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

Mississippi State (6-7) first-year coach Rick Ray won his SEC debut. Sword shot 6 of 11 from the field and had a dunk with 26 seconds left that provided enough separation for the victory.

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South Carolina's Bruce Ellington and Brian Richardson both missed contested 3-pointers in the final seconds. The Gamecocks (10-4) couldn't overcome 24 turnovers. Richardson led South Carolina with 20 points.

The Gamecocks took a 50-44 lead with 5:25 remaining, but the Bulldogs responded with an 8-0 run that provided the momentum to get the win.

Mississippi State won despite missing all 10 of its 3-point attempts. The Gamecocks were 8 of 21 from long range.

South Carolina looked like it might pull out a win, but the Bulldogs' pressure defense forced the Gamecocks into consistently bad decisions late. South Carolina's turnovers fueled several easy Mississippi State baskets in the final minutes and the Bulldogs pushed ahead 52-50 with 3 minutes left.

Mississippi State's offense ranked among the league's worst during non-conference play, so the slow, half-court game suited the Bulldogs.

But the poor shooting was tough to overcome. Mississippi State shot just 38.8 percent from the field (19 of 49).

Mississippi State has just seven scholarship players because of injuries and attrition. The Bulldogs predictably struggled during non-conference play, including a loss to Alabama A&M that Ray called a ``public embarrassment' earlier in the week.

That all made the win over South Carolina even more important and Sword is one of the key players who must improve if Mississippi State wants to be competitive in the SEC. The 6-foot-3 freshman from Montgomery, Ala., has had bouts of good play this season, but also stretches of exasperating turnovers and poor shot selection.

Those problems sometimes surfaced on Wednesday. He had seven turnovers against the Gamecocks, but there was little doubt the good outweighed the bad. Colin Borchert added eight points and four blocked shots.

South Carolina's roster isn't quite as thin as Mississippi State's, but is undeniably in transition during coach Frank Martin's first season. The problems were obvious in the backcourt, where the Gamecocks simply couldn't handle Mississippi State half-court pressure defense.

Mississippi State scored 28 points off the Gamecocks' 24 turnovers.

Ellington, who was playing football for South Carolina just two weeks ago, showed his rust with nine turnovers. He also added 11 points.

-----

Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SCAR  +155   +4   134 
 MISSST  -175   -4   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SCAR  +155   +4    
 MISSST  -175   -4   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SCAR  66%   44%   n/a 
 MISSST  34%   56%   n/a 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NCAA BK RECAPS
 Wednesday, Jan 9
 
    Rutgers at St Johns
7:00 PM EDT
    Louisville at Seton Hall
7:00 PM EDT
    Hofstra at Delaware
7:00 PM EDT
    Georgia at Florida
7:00 PM EDT
    Bradley at Indiana State
7:00 PM EDT
    UNC Wilmington at James Madison
7:00 PM EDT
    Iowa State at Kansas
7:00 PM EDT
    Nebraska at Michigan
7:00 PM EDT
    William Mary at Towson
7:00 PM EDT
    Cleveland State at Wright State
7:00 PM EDT
    Syracuse at Providence
7:00 PM EDT
    Boston College at Virginia Tech
7:00 PM EDT
    Southern Methodist at Houston
8:00 PM EDT
    Valparaiso at Illinois Chicago
8:00 PM EDT
    Florida State at Maryland
8:00 PM EDT
    South Carolina at Mississippi St
8:00 PM EDT
    Georgia Tech at North Carolina State
8:00 PM EDT
    Evansville at Northern Iowa
8:00 PM EDT
    Villanova at South Florida
8:00 PM EDT
    Mississippi at Tennessee
8:00 PM EDT
    Texas El Paso at Tulane
8:00 PM EDT
    Loyola-Chicago at Wisconsin-Green Bay
8:00 PM EDT
    Texas Christian at Oklahoma State
8:00 PM EDT
    Southern Illinois at Wichita State
8:00 PM EDT
    Louisiana State at Auburn
9:00 PM EDT
    Minnesota at Illinois
9:00 PM EDT
    West Virginia at Texas
9:00 PM EDT
    Arkansas at Texas AM
9:00 PM EDT
    Virginia at Wake Forest
9:00 PM EDT
    Nevada at Air Force
9:00 PM EDT
    Northridge at Long Beach State
10:00 PM EDT
    Washington State at Stanford
10:00 PM EDT
    Hawaii at UC Irvine
11:00 PM EDT
    San Diego State at Fresno State
11:30 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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