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Mississippi State head men's basketball coach Rick Ray made it a point to talk to Gavin Ware at halftime.
The Starkville native had just five points and five rebounds at the intermission as the Bulldogs led Prairie View A&M 38-28.
The talk sparked Ware as he scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the second half to help lead the Bulldogs to a 71-56 win over the Panthers Friday night inside Humphrey Coliseum in the opening game of the season.
"I really thought that Gavin Ware responded well in the second half," Ray said. "I really challenged him at halftime, because I didn't think he was playing very well.
"He needs to be a post presence for us. He got the ball down in the post a lot of time in scoring opportunities, and really just didn't convert."
The sophomore forward led the team with 15 points and 15 rebounds for his third career double-double.
"Coach (Ray) dogged me out at halftime, but in the second half, I used the positive things he said as a motivation factor," Ware said.
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