MSU Bulldogs win

Published 4:51 am Friday, December 11, 2009

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Ravern Johnson scored 14 points and Jarvis Varnado had 12 points and 14 rebounds on Thursday night to lead Mississippi State to a 76-45 rout of cold-shooting DePaul in the SEC/Big East Invitational.

Returning to the St. Pete Times Forum, where they made an improbable run to the SEC Tournament championship last March, the Bulldogs (6-2) built a 20-point halftime lead and didn’t allow the Blue Demons (5-3) to get any closer the rest of the way.

Romero Osby had 13 points, Barry Stewart scored 12 and Kodi Augustus contributed 11 for Mississippi State, which made 12 3-pointers en route to its third straight win.

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DePaul shot less than 18 percent in the opening half and wasn’t much better after halftime, finishing 18-for-64.

All three of DePaul’s losses have come against SEC teams. Tennessee and Vanderbilt also defeated the Blue Demons, who are coming off a year in which they went 0-18 in Big East regular-season play.