STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Jimmy Bell Jr. had 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, freshman Josh Hubbard added 12 points, and Mississippi State beat North Alabama 81-54 on Tuesday night.

D.J. Jeffries scored the final five points of a 10-0 run that gave Mississippi State a 48-35 lead early in the second half. Shakeel Moore made a fast-break layup - and added a free throw after a flagrant foul - to extend the lead to 69-48 with 5:59 left.

Cameron Matthews had six points, six rebounds and five steals for Mississippi State (3-0). Hubbard, who was coming off a team-high 22 points in his first home game, was just 4 of 13 from the field.

Mississippi State led 36-28 at halftime as both teams shot under 42% from the field. North Alabama was undone by 11 turnovers in the first half. The Lions finished with 20 turnovers, leading to 26 points by Mississippi State.

Tim Smith Jr. and KJ Johnson each scored 11 points for North Alabama (2-1). Smith scored North Alabama’s opening seven points of the second half to cut Mississippi State’s lead to 38-35.

Mississippi State travels to Connecticut to play Washington State on Saturday in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off. North Alabama hosts Jacksonville State on Saturday.


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