November 13, 2009

No. 18 Bulldogs upset by Rider in opener

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Mississippi State's much anticipated season opener started off strong but quickly turned into disappointment Friday night.

The 18th-ranked Bulldogs started strong building a quick nine point advantage but Rider responded to take their first lead of the night with just over a minute to play in the first half. Little did MSU know that would be all the visiting Broncs needed to pull ahead and the upset 88-74.

"I think everybody understands now what I said about how good Rider is," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "They were just better than us. We did some things that added to them being successful but we didn't have any answers for them particularly in the second half."

Rider (1-0) gained their first advantage on a Jeremy Robinson 3-pointer with 1:18 remaining in the first half to go up 40-39. The Broncs held onto the lead taking a 44-42 advantage into the locker room and never relinquished it.

"They are a good team and are going to make a run at you," Stansbury said. "We got up by nine and then had three straight turnovers in transition. Phil (Turner) threw a lob from 50 feet, Phil dribbled up somebody's back and Dee dribbled up somebody's back in transition and all three of those turnovers led to baskets. That was a huge part of that game when the game was flowing our way to give them easy baskets and give them some momentum."

The Broncs shot 50.8-percent on the night including 10-of-16 from downtown.

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