Smith finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Jalen Johnson scored 15 and Iverson Molinar 14 for the Bulldogs (4-3). Mississippi State had a 41-33 rebounding advantage with 13 offensive rebounds leading to 19 second-chance points.
The Bears saw their first four games canceled due to COVID-19 and now have played six straight away from home. Their first scheduled game at home won’t occur until January 6 when they take on New Orleans.
But despite their travels they proved feisty in the first half and only trailed 39-35.
However, an 8-2 burst after halftime, which started with a 3-pointer from Molinar, served as the beginning of Mississippi State’s pulling away. Johnson’s 3-pointer with 14:45 to go extended the lead to 54-41.
Wednesday’s game was the third time that Mississippi State and Central Arkansas had met. The Bulldogs have won all three. Prior to the game the most recent was a 79-72 victory in Jackson, Mississippi on Dec. 22, 2012.
For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP--Top25
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|Sam Houston State||13-3||1||19-9|
|Stephen F. Austin||12-3||1.5||16-5|