Mississippi State men’s basketball falls by one point to Pitt in First Four

DAYTON, Oh. — It was a tight game between Mississippi State men’s basketball and Pitt in their First Four matchup Tuesday night. But in the end — the Panthers came out with the 60-59 win.

Mississippi State started the game hot from range — knocking down four of its first five 3-point attempts. The Bulldogs followed up that hot run by going cold for nearly six minutes to allow a 10-0 Panthers run. 

MSU made just one of its next 10 3-point shots to close out the first half, meanwhile Pitt heated up from outside. The Panthers connected on 61.5% (8-13) of their long-range looks. The Bulldogs still kept things close, though, trailing 35-34 at the half. 

The second half was the definition of trading buckets. Mississippi State would go up by one, then Pitt would retake the lead by a point the next possession. 

The most separation Pitt finally got came with three minutes to play when Ole Miss transfer Blake Hinson hit a deep three to give the Panthers a six-point edge. 

DJ Jeffries then hit a corner three with under a minute to go to make it just a one-point Pitt lead. Tolu Smith followed that up with a layup on the following possession, but like always this game, Pitt had the answer to take back a one-point lead with 10 seconds to go.

Shakeel Moore got a look at a 3-pointer and knocked it down, but the Panthers had a foul to give so it did not count. Tolu Smith was blocked on a layup attempt after that. The Bulldogs had 2 seconds to win the game. They look out to Shakeel Moore for a wide-open three and it’s off the mark. 

The Bulldogs finish the season 21-13 — capping off head coach Chris Jans’ first year.

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