The Gamecocks (10-15, 4-6 OVC) led by as many as seven in the first half, but the Eagles (15-9, 6-3 OVC) turned the tide to start the second half and used an 11-2 run to take control of the game. JSU battled back to within three late but MSU seemed to continue to find answers down the stretch.
Junior Avery Moore scored 13 to lead the Gamecocks, including 11 in the first half. Junior D.J. Felder added 12 points and six rebounds for JSU and led the Gamecocks in the post against an Eagle team that has been outrebounded just once in its 24 games this season. The top rebounding team in the OVC and one of the best in the nation used a 27-10 advantage on the boards in the second half to outrebound JSU 40-21.
The Eagles got 14 points from Angelo Warner, while Greg Dotson and Billy Reader each added 10. Chad Posthumus entered the game averaging a double-double and had eight points and 12 boards off of the bench for MSU.
JSU took a 30-28 lead into the half. MSU scored the first five points of the second half to take a 33-30 lead with 17 minutes left, the Eagles' first lead of more than one in the game. The Eagles stretched their run to 11-2 and pushed out to a 39-32 with 13:33 left to play.
The ball started falling for JSU but MSU kept it up and stretched it lead to as much as 11 at 51-40 with fewer than seven minutes remaining.
The Gamecocks got a pair of free throws from D.J. Felder to stop the MSU run and then got a pair of 3-pointers from Undra Mitchem to cut the deficit to 51-48 with 4:26 left.
The Eagles answered again, getting Drew Kelly's second three of the game and a dunk from Jordan Percell to stretch their lead to 56-48 with four minutes to play.