Iverson Molinar, Tolu Smith and D.J. Stewart Jr. combined for 56 points, but the Mississippi State men’s basketball team was handed a 78-71 setback by Auburn during the regular season finale for both teams on Saturday afternoon at Auburn Arena.
The Bulldogs (14-13, 8-10 SEC) will turn their attention to next week’s SEC Tournament where State will meet Kentucky (9-15, 8-9 SEC) during Thursday’s 8-9 matchup at 11 am CT televised by The SEC Network. The winner advances to Friday’s quarterfinal round to take on top-seed and fifth-ranked Alabama.
Tolu Smith nearly compiled his SEC-leading 8th double-double and his 3rd 20-10 performance of the season. He scored 13 of his team-leading 20 points before halftime, coupled with 9 rebounds and two steals. The 20-point effort marked his fourth of the season and his third against SEC opponents.
Mississippi State head basketball coach Ben Howland along with Tolu Smith spoke postgame about the loss, and next week’s SEC Tourney. Video is courtesy of the SEC.