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April L. Brown, Associated Press
Mississippi State's Dee Bost, center, deflects the ball as Arkansas' Rickey Scott, left, and Rashad Madden (00) react during the first half of an NCAA basketball game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Julysses Nobles scored a career-high 24 points as Arkansas opened Southeastern Conference play with a 98-88 win over Mississippi State on Saturday night.

Nobles, a Mississippi native, scored 15 in the first half as the Razorbacks (12-3, 1-0 SEC) forced 11 turnovers and opened a 43-37 halftime lead. The junior finished 7 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 7 on 3-pointers.

Arkansas freshman BJ Young helped open a 20-point lead and close out the Bulldogs, scoring 18 of his 24 points in the second half. Young scored 10-straight points at one point for the Razorbacks, who scored 23 points off 18 Mississippi State turnovers.

DeVille Smith led the Bulldogs (13-3, 0-1) with 25 points, while Dee Bost added 21 and Rodney Hood 17.