NIT Quarterfinals: Mississippi St. 86, Florida St. 71

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Jamont Gordon had 16 points and seven assists and Mississippi State neutralized one of college basketball's most dynamic players to beat Florida State 86-71 on Tuesday and advance to the NIT semifinals.

The North Region's top-seeded Bulldogs (21-13) held Al Thornton to 22 minutes and 16 points for the second-seeded Seminoles (22-13) and will play the winner of the North Carolina State-West Virginia game in the NIT semifinals next Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

Thornton drew two personal fouls in the first 4 minutes of the game, then two more in the first 5 minutes of the second half. Without their star, the Seminoles wilted under Mississippi State's ball-hawking man-to-man defense.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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