- Associated Press - Friday, November 25, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Kahron Ross and Kyle Leufroy each had 18 points to lead six Lehigh players in double figures in an 87-73 win over Mississippi State on Friday night.

The Mountain Hawks shot 52 percent from the field and made 11 of 26 three-pointers. Austin Price had 14 points, Tim Kempton scored 13 and Matt Holba and Pat Andree each had 11 points for the Mountain Hawks.

“I was worried about thus game because these guys are really good,” said Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland. “They picked us apart with their shooting and execution. We worked all week on doubling the post, which is something we have to do.

“They hurt us in transition and they did about what they’ve been doing from the field. They really cut us to shreds and we attacked their zone poorly.”

I.J. Ready scored 19 of his 20 points in the second half for Mississippi State. Tyson Carter had 16 points for the Bulldogs (3-2) while Mario Kegler scored 12 with nine rebounds. Lamar Peters and Aric Holman added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Lehigh (2-2) used a 13-1 run midway through the first half to break it open. Mississippi State went 8:53 without a field goal during that stretch and trailed 31-20 with 2:28 left before Lehigh took a 38-29 lead at halftime.

“Normally we would like to establish ourselves in man-to-man defense,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “But Mississippi State forced us to go zone and we also had Tim Kempton in foul trouble. Fortunately, we were able to hold them to one shot we were active enough to get them out of a rhythm, offensively.”

Mississippi State shot 41.3 percent for the game and made 7 of 22 from beyond the arc.

The Mountain Hawks led by as many as 21 in the second half.

Lehigh won the battle of the boards 39-32 with Holba grabbing eight boards.

Lehigh outscored Mississippi State 38-28 in the paint and held a 13-4 advantage in bench scoring.

BIG PICTURE

Mississippi State: Friday marked Mississippi State’s first game without leading-scorer Quinndary Weatherspoon. Earlier in the week it was discovered that Weatherspoon suffered torn ligaments in his left wrist and he will have season-ending surgery. In his place, freshman Lamar Peters made his first collegiate, scoring 11 on 4-of-10 shooting.

Lehigh: After two straight losses to open the season, including a three-point loss at No. 10 Xavier, the Mountain Hawks have won two in a row.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs continue a season-long, five-game home stand on Monday against Northwestern (La.) State.

Lehigh: The Mountain Hawks continued their trend of tough, road challenges at Arkansas State on Sunday.

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