STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Aric Holman scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Quinndary Weatherspoon added 17 points and Mississippi State beat Alabama State 96-68 on Friday night.
The 6-foot-10 Holman had 17 points in the first half while Weatherspoon — who was the team's leading scorer last season — shot 8 of 9 from the field. Six Bulldogs finished with at least 10 points.
Mississippi State jumped out to a 30-9 lead midway through the first half and cruised to a 58-31 halftime advantage. The Bulldogs shot 18 of 32 (56.3 percent) from the field before the break.
Alabama State was led by Jacoby Ross, who scored 17 points. Ed Jones added 16.
Alabama State: The Hornets had an 8-23 record last season, so it's no surprise they were overmatched by the Bulldogs. Like many teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Alabama State has several tough road games in the coming weeks, including Iowa, Oregon and Cincinnati.
Mississippi State: It's a good start for the Bulldogs, who are looking to build on last year's 16-16 record. Holman looked much more comfortable shooting from outside and the addition of freshman Nick Weatherspoon should help the backcourt. It wasn't all good news on Friday: Junior guard Xavian Stapleton started but played just five minutes before landing awkwardly while trying to finish a layup at the basket. The Bulldogs said he has a sprained knee.
Mississippi State hosts Florida A&M on Nov. 18.
Alabama State travels to face Iowa on Monday.