CHICAGO — Junior college transfer Trey Fort hit six 3-pointers and scored 21 points to lead Mississippi State to a 71-56 victory over Arizona State on Wednesday night in a season opener for both teams.
Fort hit three straight 3-pointers to kick off a 16-4 first half-ending run for a 39-18 lead. The lead reached as many as 25 points in the second half.
West Virginia graduate transfer Jimmy Bell added 13 points and Dashawn Davis 10 for the Bulldogs, who shot 40%.
Mississippi State was missing its top two scorers from last season. On Monday, coach Chris Jans said Shakeel Moore (9.8 ppg) would miss two games for violation of team rules. Tolu Smith (15.7) isn't expected back from a foot injury until perhaps mid-January, Jans said.
The Bulldogs were the worst 3-point shooting team in Division I last season at 26.6% but made 10 of 26 (38%) from the arc against the Sun Devils, who missed all nine of their first-half 3-point shots in the first half and finished 5 of 21.
Arizona State, with seven Division I transfers joining the roster this season, was led by Louisville transfer Kamari Lands with 13 points and Frankie Collins adding 10. The Sun Devils shot 32%.
Fort was 4 of 8 on 3-pointers in the first half in scoring 14 points.
The game was played at Wintrust Arena as part of the Barstool Sports Invitational.
Arizona State is home against Texas Southern and Mississippi State is host to UT Martin on Saturday.
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