Molinar helps Mississippi State race past Cyclones 95-56

NCAA Basketball

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP)Iverson Molinar scored 20 points and Mississippi State poured it on in the second half to defeat Iowa State 95-56 on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

The Bulldogs (10-8) scored their most points in a game this season, opening the second half with a 9-0 burst as Tolu Smith scored seven and Molinar two. That rally was followed by a 15-1 run that pushed the lead to 35 points with 12:47 left to play.

D.J. Stewart Jr. scored 17 points, Tolu Smith finished with 16 and Deivon Smith added 10 points. The Bulldogs shot 51% (37 of 73) and scored 34 points off 21 Iowa State turnovers. The 39-point margin matches their largest this season (versus Mississippi Valley State Dec. 21).

Rasir Bolton led the Cyclones (2-9) with 18 points – making 10 of 13 at the line – along with seven rebounds. Tyler Harris scored 11. Iowa State’s 56 points were its lowest of the season.

Jalen Johnson, Molinar and Tolu Smith scored 16 of Mississippi State’s first 18 as the Bulldogs jumped ahead by 10 and led 44-28 at halftime.

The loss is a fifth, along with four COVID-19 postponements, in the last nine games for Iowa State. The Cyclones, who are 0-6 in the Big 12 for the first time in 50 years, were playing without Nick Schuster, Solomon Young, Javan Johnson and Tre Jackson following health and safety protocols.

Jalen Coleman-Lands, who was recently cleared to play, scored seven points in 23 minutes for the Cyclones.

UP NEXT

Iowa State returns home to take on West Virginia on Tuesday. Mississippi State travels to Arkansas on Tuesday.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.