STARKVILLE, Miss. Jarvis Varnado scored 22 points and blocked eight shots to help Mississippi State beat Alabama State 76-67 on Saturday. Ravern Johnson added 21 points for the Bulldogs (6-2), who shot 50 percent from the field and ended a two-game losing streak.
Varnados eight blocks brought his season total to a nation-leading 53, and extend his career total to 277. Mississippi State opened the game on a 14-6 run and led most of the first half. The Hornets cut the lead to 38-37 at half time, outscoring the Bulldogs 16-10 in the final six minutes of the half. Varnado's jumper with 3:44 left in the game gave Mississippi State a 69-59 lead to pull away.
Andrew Hayles finished with 16 points for the Hornets (1-4). Brandon Brooks and Menji Mundadi both added 14 points for Alabama State, and Chief Kickingstallionsims chipped in 12 points.