Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Gavin Ware registered a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds as the Mississippi State Bulldogs pulled out a 71-66 win over the South Florida Bulls in the third round of the Las Vegas Classic at Orleans Arena.
Fred Thomas led the Bulldogs (9-2) in scoring with 14 points off the bench, shooting 4-of-7 behind the 3-point line, while Colin Borchert accounted for 11 points. Craig Sword and Roquez Johnson both chipped in 10 points in the triumph as well.
The Bulls (8-3) were paced by Victor Rudd who had a double-double of his own with 17 points and 11 rebounds, adding three assists and a couple of blocked shots. Before fouling out Corey Allen Jr. produced 16 points, shooting a perfect 8-of-8 at the free-throw line, while Chris Perry came up a rebound shy of a double-double as he tallied 14 points.
Shooting 5-of-8 behind the 3-point line in the first half, the Bulls led by as many as seven less than six minutes into the meeting, but it was MSU with the 38-35 lead after knocking down 53.6 percent from the floor through the first 20 minutes of action.
In the second half the Bulldogs dropped to 37.0 percent accuracy from the floor, but the squad outscored USF at the charity stripe, 12-6, in order to secure the five-point win.
The biggest issue for the Bulls turned out to be their 18 miscues, which Mississippi State traded in for 20 points.
With the win, the Bulldogs will now take on UNLV in the championship round of the event on Monday.