Mississippi State beats South Carolina 56-54

Mississippi State beats South Carolina 56-54
January 9, 2013, 10:23 pm
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Mississippi State forward Colin Borchert (3) dribbles past South Carolina forward Lakeem Jackson (30) in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Craig Sword scored 18 points, Roquez Johnson added 14 and Mississippi State edged South Carolina 56-54 on Wednesday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

Mississippi State (6-7) first-year coach Rick Ray won his SEC debut. Sword shot 6 of 11 from the field and had a dunk with 26 seconds left that provided enough separation for the victory.

South Carolina's Bruce Ellington and Brian Richardson both missed 3-pointers in the final seconds. The Gamecocks (10-4) couldn't overcome 24 turnovers. Richardson led South Carolina with 20 points.

The Gamecocks took a 50-44 lead with 5:25 remaining, but the Bulldogs responded with an 8-0 run that provided the momentum to get the win.

Mississippi State won despite missing all 10 of its 3-point attempts. The Gamecocks were 8 of 21 from long range.