NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Barry Stewart was wide open in front of the Mississippi State bench, so coach Rick Stansbury discretely pointed to him.
Jamont Gordon made the pass, Stewart made the shot and finally the Bulldogs were in control.
And, someone besides Charles Rhodes was contributing to the offense.
Rhodes scored a career-high 34 points, and the eighth-seeded Bulldogs overcame a 13-point, second-half deficit for a 76-69 victory over ninth-seeded Oregon on Friday night. Stewart added 16 points, all in the second half.
"If you're a shooter, you keep shooting. You don't lose confidence in your shot," Stewart said. "You've just got to keep shooting, and they fell tonight."
Rhodes kept Mississippi State from being blown out. So did Oregon's shooting. The Ducks went 9-of-38 from 3-point range, including 2-of-21 in the second half.
The Bulldogs trailed 41-28 after Malik Hairston's 3-pointer at the start of the second half, but Oregon (18-14) didn't make another three until the final seconds.
"We had a lot of open shots," Oregon's Maarty Leunen said. "We just weren't able to make it, that's all."
The Ducks missed short, and they missed off to the side. They even had one rattle in and out. Once they lost their shooting touch, their offense went into disarray.
Rhodes scored six straight points to start the Bulldogs' rally part of an 8-0 run that cut the lead to five. Mississippi State then fell behind by nine before Stewart made a 3-pointer with 13:21 remaining the Bulldogs' first of the game after 12 straight misses.
Until that shot, only four players had scored for Mississippi State.
"I thought I was going to have to go out there and shoot some treys," the 6-foot-8 Rhodes said. "But my percentage isn't good so I wasn't going to do that to the team."
Stewart finished with four 3-pointers. His third pulled the Bulldogs to 52-51. Rhodes then put Mississippi State (23-10) ahead with a dunk.
TEXAS 74, AUSTIN PEAY 54: At North Little Rock, Ark., A.J. Abrams scored 26 points, and along with Connor Atchley and Dexter Pittman nearly outscored Austin Peay on their own in a first-round victory.
Abrams was 6-of-10 from 3-point range, Atchley added 12 points and Pittman had 11.
At 29-6, Texas is now one victory away from matching the school record for wins. The 2005-06 squad, which lost to LSU in the regional finals of the tournament, finished 30-7.
MIAMI 78, SAINT MARY'S 64: At North Little Rock, Ark., Jack McClinton scored a career-high 38 points 32 during a brilliant second half to send seventh-seeded Miami past the Saints.
The Hurricanes (23-10) trailed 32-27 at intermission but went on a 25-5 run shortly afterward. McClinton scored 10 straight points early in that stretch. Later, after the Gaels (25-7) pulled within eight, McClinton calmly sank an open three from the left corner.
Patty Mills, the Gaels' freshman point guard and one of four players on the roster from Australia, scored 24 points. Saint Mary's has won only one NCAA tournament game, in 1959.
Miami, which was predicted to be the Atlantic Coast Conference's worst team this season, has won eight of its last 11, part of a remarkable turnaround after a 12-20 record a season ago.
MEMPHIS 87, TEXAS-ARLINGTON 63: At North Little Rock, Ark., for a few glorious minutes, Texas-Arlington was living the dream.
After 49 years of playing basketball, the commuter school was not only in its first NCAA tournament, it was actually leading top-seeded Memphis.
Too bad the game was only 3 minutes old.
Chris Douglas-Roberts' layup sparked a 15-2 run that effectively ended any hopes Texas-Arlington had for a momentous upset, and Memphis cruised to a 87-63 victory in the first round of the South Regional on Friday night. Oh, the scrappy Mavericks hung around longer than most probably expected, getting within 11 early in the second half.
But the outcome was as inevitable as every other 1-16 matchup in tournament history: The big boys are simply too good and too deep.
Douglas-Roberts led five Tigers in double figures with 23 points, and he also had seven rebounds and four assists. Derrick Rose and Antonio Anderson added 17 points each, and Robert Dozier had 12 for Memphis, which improved to 34-1 with its eighth straight victory.
Next up is eighth-seeded Mississippi State (23-10), which beat Oregon 76-69 earlier Friday night.