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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Roquez Johnson and Fred Thomas combined for 33 points to lead Mississippi State to a 78-58 win over Florida Atlantic on Tuesday night.

Mississippi State (1-1) forced 27 turnovers and shot 49.2 percent (30 of 61) from the field to give Rick Ray his first victory as head coach.

Johnson scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and Thomas scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Craig Sword added 11 points and Gavin Ware chipped in 10 points.

Mississippi State opened the game on an 8-2 run and forced 18 turnovers in the opening half. The Bulldogs led 43-26 at the break and went on an 18-3 run in the second half to seal the win.

FAU guard Greg Gantt led the Owls with 17 points. Cavon Baker added 11 points.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

11/13/2012 9:24:40 PM (GMT -6:00)

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