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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas coach Eric Musselman reacts to a play in the Razorbacks' game against Mississippi State in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville on February 15, 2020. - Photo by David Beach

FAYETTEVILLE -- For 39 minutes and 59.4 seconds, Mississippi State center Abdul Ado didn't score Saturday at Walton Arena.

But then the 6-11 junior from Lagos, Nigeria, made the game's biggest basket.

Ado tipped in a miss by Tyson Carter with 0.6 seconds left to lift the Bulldogs to a 78-77 victory over the University of Arkansas men's basketball team before an announced sellout crowd of 19,200.

After an Arkansas timeout, junior guard Mason Jones' 80-foot heave fell short of the basket.

Gallery: Mississippi State defeats Arkansas 78-77

The Razorbacks (16-9, 4-8 SEC) lost their fourth consecutive game after rallying from a 17-point deficit to take a 75-72 lead they couldn't hold.

"This game probably hurt more than any game this year just knowing we fought hard to come back and we lost at the buzzer, basically," said Jones, who led Arkansas with 38 points. "That's just heartbreaking. Right now, I'm in shock."

The Razorbacks, who came into the game last in the SEC in rebounding margin at minus-6.5, held the Bulldogs to a season-low four offensive rebounds.

Mississippi State was averaging 12.8 offensive rebounds per game and had 11 in a 77-70 victory over Arkansas on Jan. 22 at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.

"They have four offensive rebounds, but the fourth one won the game for them," Razorbacks Coach Eric Musselman said.

Ado, who averages 5.5 points and 6.8 rebounds, finished 1 of 2 from the field. But he had seven rebounds, including three on offense.

"Just love Abdul, and so happy for him to be the hero to put the last shot in," Mississippi State Coach Ben Howland said. "Proud of him."

Jones hit two free throws with 59 seconds left to give the Razorbacks a 77-76 lead.

Carter, who led the Bulldogs with 26 points, missed a jumper with 43 seconds left, and Jimmy Whitt got the rebound for Arkansas.

The Razorbacks got the ball to Jones, who tried to drive on Carter but couldn't get by him. Jones then fired up a three-pointer that missed the rim with 10 seconds left and the shot clock about to expire.

"They weren't going to let me get to the hole," said Jones, who hit 18 of 21 free throws. "You've got to give their guys props. Their defense packed the lane.

"I was trying to go right, but I saw no path to the right, and I saw the shot clock go down to like five seconds. I wanted to get a shot up."

Mississippi State was out of timeouts, but Carter said he knew what do after D.J. Stewart got the rebound and passed him the ball.

"I just heard Coach say, 'Get to the basket,' because the previous play I had shot a jumper," said Carter, a senior guard who played 29 minutes off the bench. "He said good things happen when we get to the basket. So he just said make a play at the basket, and [Ado] was there for the tip-in.

"We're a pretty good offensive-rebounding team. We hang our hat on offensive rebounding. So when we get it to the basket, we've got bigs down low that can play around the rim and tip balls in."

Carter drove to the basket while guarded by Adrio Bailey -- who switched onto him after Ado screened Desi Sills -- and Whitt provided help defense as the shot missed.

Bailey fell down trying to recover on defense, and Ado got the tip over 6-2 Jalen Harris.

"I thought we played great defense," Musselman said. "We forced them into a tough shot. We gave help on the dribble drive. We defended without fouling, and they had a 7-footer reach over us and tap the ball in.

"I thought we had a box out. A couple of our guys kind of fell [out of bounds]."

Jones, who hit 9 of 17 shots, scored 30 or more points for the sixth time this season.

"One of the best players in all of college basketball," Howland said. "Jones is absolutely incredible."

Mississippi State (16-9, 7-5) looked like it would pull away for an easy victory when the Bulldogs took a 56-39 lead with 14:37 left on Carter's three-point play.

But the Razorbacks responded with a 36-16 run -- including Sills scoring all 15 of his points -- to take a 75-72 lead on Sills' three-pointer with 1:47 left.

Harris then fouled Carter on a nonshooting play. Carter hit both free throws in the double bonus, stole a pass from Harris -- who jumped into the air, spun and threw a pass that Carter intercepted in full stride like a defensive back on a pick-six -- and dunked on a breakaway to put Mississippi State ahead 76-75 at the 1:11 mark.

"You can't have a live-ball turnover that ends up in a [dunk]," Musselman said. "And we fouled when we were up three instead of just keeping the ball in front of us."

Mississippi State 6-10 sophomore Reggie Perry -- who committed to Arkansas as a high school recruit before signing with the Bulldogs -- had 17 points and eight rebounds.

"That's a part of fighting through adversity," Perry said of Mississippi State winning at the end after blowing a 17-point lead. "We got to the basket and got a chance to tip it in."

Stewart and Nick Weatherspoon each scored 10 points for the Bulldogs. Bailey scored 10 points for the Razorbacks.

Mississippi State beat Arkansas for the sixth consecutive time, and the Razorbacks lost their fourth consecutive SEC home game.

"It wasn't a long talk," Musselman said when asked what he told his players after the game. "There's nothing really to tell a team other than, you can't fall behind by that much.

"The effort was phenomenal. We have no margin for error. We had some errors, and it cost us the game."

Game sketch

RECORDS Arkansas 16-9, 4-8 SEC; Mississippi State 16-9, 7-5

STARS Mississippi State senior guard Tyson Carter (26 points) and sophomore forward Reggie Perry (17 points, 8 rebounds). Arkansas junior guard Mason Jones (38 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists)

KEY STAT The Bulldogs shot 58.8% (30 of 51) from the field.

UP NEXT Arkansas plays Florida at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.

Sports on 02/16/2020

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