Friday March 13, 2009
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Barry Stewart scored 21 points, most of them from 3-point range, and Mississippi State beat South Carolina 82-68 Friday in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Dee Bost added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (21-12), who won their fourth straight and might have eliminated the Gamecocks from consideration for the NCAA tournament.
South Carolina (21-9) has lost three of four down the stretch, a skid that could offset the team's strong RPI (No. 49) during the NCAA's selection process.
The Gamecocks felt like they let this one get away. They had a double-digit lead early and a four-point advantage at halftime. But they were outplayed in the second half. Stewart did a big chunk of the damage, hitting consecutive 3s that put Mississippi State ahead for good. Zam Fredrick led the Gamecocks with 20 points.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)