Guard D.J. Stewart Jr. scored a career high 23 points and hit 5 of 6 from 3-point range, leading previously winless Mississippi State to a 68-51 win over Texas State on Monday night in Starkville, Miss.
Mississippi State (1-2) got 12 points from forward Tolu Smith as the Bulldogs got head coach Ben Howland his 500th career win.
"It was tough being 0-2 coming into this game," Howland said after the game. "We showed growth, we showed improvement, and we're getting better."
Mason Harrell led Texas State (2-1) with 15 points. The Bobcats had averaged 86.5 points per game in their first two games but struggled to score on Monday.
Texas State led 5-0 early, but the advantage dissipated quickly. Stewart and Smith combined for 19 of the Bulldogs' 26 first-half points. But neither team shot the ball very well, and Mississippi State had 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, though the Bulldogs led 26-24 at the break.
Stewart scored eight points in the first 4:23 of the second half, six on a pair of 3-pointers. The Bulldogs extended their lead to 11, 42-31, on back-to-back treys from forward Jalen Johnson.
A short jumper from Quinten Post gave the Bulldogs a 50-32 lead with 10:55 to play, and the frigid Bobcats couldn't come back. Texas State made just 6 for 21 shot (28.6 percent) in the second half.
Abdul Ado dunked with two hands with 5:25 left, and Stewart followed with a jumper for a 57-37 lead to put the Bobcats away. Stewart scored 13 of his points in the second half.
The Bulldogs dominated in rebounding, 46-27. They held the Bobcats, who made 53.8 percent of their shots over their first two games, to 32.1 percent shooting for the game.
--Field Level Media