Rhodes scores 30 to lead Mississippi St. to 89-78 win over Auburn

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Charles Rhodes had a career-high 30 points and nine rebounds to lead Mississippi State to an 89-78 victory over Auburn last night.

The win gives the Bulldogs a share of the Southeastern Conference's Western Division title for the second straight season.

The Bulldogs have now won 13 of their last 15 games against the Tigers, including eight in a row at home.

Auburn (14-12, 4-9 SEC) never threatened Mississippi State (19-8, 10-3) in the second half and shot only 38 percent from the field against the nation's second-ranked team defense.

Rhodes was 10-for-13 from the field and has scored 20 points or more in three of his last four games. The double-double is his eighth this season and fourteenth of his career.

Thanks to Arkansas' 56-53 loss at Alabama yesterday, the Bulldogs now have a three-game lead in the SEC West with three games to go in the regular season.

The Razorbacks still could catch them, though they'll need the Bulldogs to lose their last three games.