STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Schnider Herard's tip-in just before the halftime buzzer — a swat from about 10 feet away that somehow went in the hoop — certainly had an element of luck. The other 14 points the 6-foot-10 freshman scored showed off a whole lot of rapidly improving skill.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Schnider Herard's tip-in just before the halftime buzzer — a swat from about 10 feet away that somehow went in the hoop — certainly had an element of luck.
The other 14 points the 6-foot-10 freshman scored showed off a whole lot of rapidly improving skill.
Herard scored a career-high 16 points, Lamar Peters added 14 and Mississippi State beat Texas A&M 67-59 on Saturday. The Bulldogs (12-4, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) won their third straight game heading into a showdown with No. 6 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Herard made 5 of 7 shots from the field and 6 of 8 free throws. He also was a consistent presence on defense, making things hard for Texas A&M's talented and tall frontcourt.
"Schnider had his best game as a Bulldog," Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. "He was a force inside today. Did a great job getting to the line and going aggressively to the basket. This was a huge step for him playing against really good players."
Peters, also a freshman, made all 11 of his free-throw attempts. He added five steals.
The Bulldogs' leading scorer this season — sophomore Quinndary Weatherspoon — had just 13 points, but all of them came in the second half.
Texas A&M (9-7, 1-4) lost despite a 38-23 rebounding advantage. The Aggies were hurt by 22 turnovers and shot just 1 of 14 (7.1 percent) from 3-point range. Tyler Davis led Texas A&M with 16 points while D.J. Hogg added 13 points and eight rebounds.
"We can't turn the ball over 22 times on the road against a good team and expect to win," Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.
Mississippi State missed its first nine shots from the field — falling into a 10-0 hole in the process — and didn't score a point until Peters made three free throws more than seven minutes into the game.
The Bulldogs responded quickly, scoring the next 11 points to take the lead. Herard made the acrobatic tip-in at the buzzer to give Mississippi State a 25-24 halftime lead.
"I was just doing my job," Herard said. "My teammates believed in me and were passing me the ball inside so I was trying to get it done for them."
Texas A&M: The Aggies were coming off an impressive 30-point win over LSU, but couldn't overcome the sloppy ballhandling. Texas A&M was able to get some points in the paint, but couldn't get much production from the perimeter.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs are on a roll heading into Tuesday's game with Kentucky. Herard's good game was a welcome development for Mississippi State, which could use some more inside production.
Kennedy said Texas A&M guard Admon Gilder didn't play in the first half because of a discipline issue. Gilder, who averages more than 12 points per game, scored six points in the second half.
"He didn't do something he was supposed to," Kennedy said. "There was an opportunity to get him right. He's a good kid and it's the first time that happened."
Texas A&M: The Aggies return home to host Arkansas on Tuesday.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs host No. 6 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Follow David Brandt on Twitter @davidbrandtAP