STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — J'Von McCormickscored a career-high 28 points to lead No. 8 Auburn to an 80-68 win over Mississippi State in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams Saturday.
Auburn (13-0, 1-0) remained undefeated, one of two teams along with San Diego State as the nation's only unbeaten teams.
McCormick hit nine of his 17 shots from the field and eight of his 11 foul shots. Isaac Okoro added 16 for the Tigers while Samir Doughty had 13. Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley also finished in double digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Reggie Perry collected his 16th career double-double for Mississippi State (9-4, 0-1) with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Nick Weatherspoon had 18 points and Robert Woodard also had a double-double for the Bulldogs with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Abdul Ado finished with a career-high nine blocked shots and 11 rebounds for Mississippi State.
Both teams struggled offensively in the opening half. Auburn missed 22 of its first 25 shots as Mississippi State opened an 18-9 lead.
But the Bulldogs turned cold, missing 13 of their next 14 attempts as Auburn reeled off nine straight points to tie things on McCormick's layup with 3:48 remaining in the first half. The Tigers finished the half on an 11-6 run and held a 29-24 advantage at halftime.
Auburn shot just 33 percent overall in the first half and missed all 11 attempts behind the arc. The Bulldogs shot worse at 27.3 percent and made just 1 of 8 from 3 point territory. Auburn had nine turnovers in the first half and Mississippi State had 10 turnvers and eight blocked shots.
BIG PICTURE Auburn: The Tigers were able to overcome bad history at Humphrey Coliseum and remained undefeated. Auburn entered Saturday with just a 2-15 record at Humphrey Coliseum since 2001. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs didn't get the start they needed inside SEC action. The Bulldogs now travel to Alabama and LSU next week to open up their league road schedule.
UP NEXT Auburn: The Tigers make their SEC home debut Wednesday and host Vanderbilt Mississippi State: The Bulldogs travel to Alabama on Wednesday for their SEC road opener.
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