Schnider Herard had 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, Xavian Stapleton had 14 points and 11 boards and Mississippi State overcame a 19-point, first-half deficit on Saturday for a 64-59 victory over Tennessee.
The Bulldogs finished the game on a 25-9 run and took the lead for good on Stapleton’s 3-pointer with 4:22 left. Stapleton had his first double-double of the season.
Mario Kegler led the Bulldogs (14-8, 5-5 SEC) with 17 points and his two free throws clinched the win with 6.9 seconds remaining.
The Volunteers (13-10, 5-5) were led by Robert Hubbs III with 13 points and Grant Williams added 11.
The Bulldogs missed their first nine shot attempts and Tennessee had a 17-2 advantage in the first eight minutes. Tennessee would lead 29-10 before Mississippi State trimmed the deficit to 33-21 at halftime.
The Bulldogs shot just 20 percent in the first half and made 3 of 9 free throws. Tennessee shot 44 percent in the first half and also struggled at the charity stripe with a 6-of-14 showing.
Saturday’s setback snapped the Volunteers’ four-game winning streak. It also marked their second blown lead in the Magnolia State this season. Tennessee led Ole Miss by 13 points with 15 minutes to play before falling 80-69.
Senior I.J. Ready missed his second straight game for the Bulldogs with a calf muscle injury.
The Volunteers open a two-game home stand Wednesday and host Ole Miss.
The Bulldogs return to the road Tuesday with a visit to Auburn.