Oxford, MS (Sports Network) - Dee Bost led all scorers with 25 points and dished out six assists, as Mississippi State held on for a 80-75 win over 14th-ranked Ole Miss in the SEC opener for both teams at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Ravern Johnson donated 15 points and Kodi Augustus had 13 points to go along with 12 rebounds for Mississippi State (13-2, 1-0), which had a nine-game win streak snapped with a heart-breaking 55-52 loss at Western Kentucky on Monday. Barry Stewart made 3-of-6 from three-point range and ended with 11 points, while Jarvis Varnado had nine points, 12 boards and six blocked shots.
Chris Warren had 15 points and Zach Graham went for 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals for Ole Miss (12-3, 0-1 SEC), which demolished UCF 84-56 on Tuesday. Terrance Henry finished with 12 points and six boards for the Rebels, who have still won seven of nine overall.
Ole Miss took a 42-37 edge into the second half and continued to hold the lead for the first 10 minutes. The Bulldogs were able to chip away at the deficit and then pull even at 59-all with just over nine minutes left after a Varnado tip-in.
The game then went back-and-forth before MSU was able to gain control of the contest. Up 69-65 with three minutes to play, Johnson drilled a three a short time later for a seven-point MSU cushion.
In the last half minute and the Bulldogs ahead 75-72, Varnado blocked a Terrico White jumper and Mississippi State held on in the final seconds.
Mississippi State set the pace in the early going, jumping out to a 20-8 lead after Stewart drained a three-pointer nearly 6 1/2 minutes into the contest.
However, the Rebels turned things around with a 19-5 run over the next several minutes and Eniel Polynice's layup put Ole Miss up 27-25 with a shade under six minutes left.
A Johnson three-ball gave MSU a brief lead on its next trip before Graham answered with a triple, putting Ole Miss back in front as the Rebels took a 42-37 lead into the break.
In a series that began way back in 1914, Mississippi State now owns a 135-105 advantage...White ended with nine points.