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1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET9:00 PM GMT5:00 PM 北京时间2:00 PM MST4:00 PM EST, Dec 8, 2018
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey  Attendance: 7,142

No. 22 Mississippi State hopes for better effort against Clemson

No. 22 Mississippi State enters Saturday's game against Clemson in the Never Forget Classic in Newark, N.J., coming off a scare against visiting McNeese State in a game that the Bulldogs trailed early in the second half.

Mississippi State (7-1) finally played to form when it scored 19 straight points and cruised to a 90-77 win on Tuesday.

"Hallelujah!" Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said to reporters after the game.

Howland was not nearly as pleased during the game, feeling it was necessary to shed his sports jacket to get his team to rally.

"You've got to commend McNeese State," Howland said. "They came in there and really took it at us inside in the first half. We were not good in terms of our defense in the post."

Freshman forward Reggie Perry helped ignite the turnaround for the Bulldogs, who allowed McNeese State only four points in the paint in the second half.

Mississippi State also won the rebounding battle 40-23.

"In the second half, we just wanted to come out with more energy," said Perry, who had 15 points and nine rebounds. "I just crashed the boards a lot harder."

Point guard Lamar Peters scored a career-high 27 points while making 8 of 13 shots from 3-point range.

The next task is to face a Clemson team that received good news Wednesday when an MRI revealed that standout point guard Marcquise Reed suffered only a sprained knee in Tuesday's win over St. Peter's and not a serious injury that could have ended his season.

Reed, the Tigers' leading scorer at 19.3 points per game, scored 21 points in the 65-60 victory. It was the fifth time in eight games this season that he has scored at least 20 points.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell said after the game that he was "very concerned" about Reed's status. The school reported Wednesday that Reed is questionable to play against Mississippi State.

"(Reed) was the guy that kind of got us going, especially in the first half," said Brownell, whose team snapped a two-game skid with the win over St. Peter's. "He's obviously one of our most important players. We'll see what happens. Obviously, we'll hope for good thoughts."

Another concern for Brownell is his team's perimeter shooting. Clemson made only 4 of 12 shots from 3-point range against St. Peter's.

Clemson has made only 24 percent of its shots from beyond the arc in its last three games (11 of 45).

"I think we're a better shooting team than what we're showing," Brownell said. "I'm anxious to go see what we look like (against Mississippi State). I thought we had some good shots (against St. Peter's) and we didn't make any of them."

Other good news for the Tigers: small forward Elijah Thomas is close to full strength after suffering an ankle injury earlier this season. After missing the first 10 minutes against St. Peter's because of a disciplinary issue, Thomas finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Updated December 7, 2018

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