STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 27 points, Lamar Peters added 16 points and 10 assists, and No. 22 Mississippi State pulled away to beat No. 16 Auburn 92-84 on Saturday night.
Auburn and Mississippi State (15-4, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) were locked in a tight game for much of the second half before Mississippi State broke a 70-70 tie with Weatherspoon’s 3-pointer and Reggie Perry’s dunk in quick succession.
An irate Auburn coach Bruce Pearl then was called for a technical foul after arguing with officials and Weatherspoon hit two free throws to give the Bulldogs a 77-70 lead with 7:13 left.
The 6-foot-4 Weatherspoon tied a season high in points and finished 6 of 9 from the field and 11 of 11 on free throws.
Auburn (13-6, 2-4) has lost three straight. The Tigers shot 53 percent from the field and were led by Bryce Brown’s 18 points, but were hurt by 19 turnovers.
Mississippi State took a 47-45 halftime lead after making 10 3-pointers in the first half. Auburn stayed close thanks to a 14-of-14 performance on free throws. Peters had 12 points for the Bulldogs before the break while Auburn’s Jared Harper and Brown both scored nine.
Auburn: The Tigers continued to struggle without 6-foot-11 forward Austin Wiley, who has missed the past three games with a lower leg injury. Auburn was projected as one of the best teams in the SEC, but the Tigers have put themselves in a hole as February approaches.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs really needed this win at home and got it with a gritty performance in the second half. Weatherspoon was excellent and Perry’s 10-point, 11-rebound performance was important in the post.
Auburn hosts Missouri on Wednesday.
Mississippi State travel to play Alabama on Tuesday.