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November 12, 2005
West Florida Nearly Shocks Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. - In their last exhibition tune-up, the Argonauts played their second game with an SEC school in just over a week. However, this game with Mississippi State in no way resembled anything like last Friday's 45-point loss at Florida. The Argos threatened to upset the Bulldogs, but came up short, 76-73 in front of 3,558 MSU fans.
In the second half, MSU surged out to a nine point lead, 48-39 at the 13:48 mark. West Florida came back again and Kashif Russell's two free-throws cut the lead to 53-52. A three-pointer by Dietric Slater put MSU up 73-65 with 1:55 left to play. Marcus Grant answered with a three of his own, and Maurice Thomas finished a fast break with a lay-up to cut the lead to three at 1:21. A lay-up by Delk put the Bulldogs back up five, and the Argos missed their next two shots as MSU held on for the win. West Florida out-scored MSU, 41-40 in the second half.
West Florida got a solid push out of the gates and led, 10-7 following a Donovan Redden jumper. Mississippi State reclaimed the lead for good on a bucket by Richard Delk at 15:12 of the first half. The Bulldogs enjoyed their largest lead when Delk's dunk put MSU up 28-18 with 6:06 left in first half. However, the Argos refused the cave in and stayed within striking distance throughout the contest. Late in the first half, UWF went on a 12-5 run and the Argos trailed, 36-32 at the half.
Four Argonauts reached double-figures in scoring. Russell, Redden and Thomas each scored 16 points. Russell came up with three steals. Redden shot 6-for-8 from the field with seven assists. Brandon Gordon scored 14 points with six rebounds and three blocks. The Bulldogs put five players in scoring double-figures. Piotr Stelmach led MSU with 15 points and seven rebounds. Charles Rhodes had 13 points and eight boards.
West Florida shot 48.3% from the field, while MSU shot 45.8%. The Argos shot 11-for-24 (45.8%) from behind the arc. The Bulldogs had a big advantage in free-throws by going 17-for-26, while UWF shot just four-of-six.
West Florida opens their regular season at home this Tuesday night at 7:30 pm against Concordia-Selma.