MSU Lose To LSU On The Road

Craig Sword

Mississippi State found life on the road in the Southeastern Conference difficult Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs fought valiantly but saw the losing slide continue, as MSU dropped an 80-68 decision to LSU at the Maravich Assembly Center.

Complete Game Stats|

MSU dropped its 10th straight to fall to 7-17 overall and 2-10 in league play. LSU improved to 15-8 and 6-6.

Despite committing a season-low nine turnovers, the Bulldogs were done in by an incredible shooting display by the Tigers. LSU shot 54.5 percent from the floor - its second-best percentage of the season and best in league play. The Tigers also made a season-high 12 3-point baskets, again shooting 54.5 percent from long range.

"We just weren't going to have success," MSU head coach Rick Ray said. "They shot an unbelievable percentage from the 3-point line, and our guys have a bad habit of closing out their shooters with their hands down. We need guys that can take away their shot and take away their vision."

An early 6-0 run allowed LSU to build a 14-7 advantage. After MSU cut into the lead, the Tigers ran the advantage back out to 19-12.

The Bulldogs erased that lead and tied the game at 23 on a layup by Roquez Johnson, 3-point basket by Fred Thomas and basket by Gavin Ware.

LSU quickly answered. The Tigers shot 58.6 percent from the field in the opening half and built a 41-28 halftime lead.

"We just continue to give their shooters a high percentage from the 3-point line. And we ourselves need to make a higher percentage from the 3-point line. So we've just got to do a better job of taking shots." Back-to-back 3-point baskets allowed the hosts to run the lead to 16. LSU would eventually lead by 20 on a couple of occasions.

"We just need to play hard," said MSU freshman guard Craig Sword, who led the team with a career-high 25 points. "We haven't been playing hard lately. We've been on a losing streak, and we just haven't been playing hard."

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 26 of 56 shots from the field (46.4 percent), 4 of 17 shots from 3-point range (23.5 percent) and 12 of 19 shots from the foul line (63.2 percent). The Tigers hit 30 of 55 shots from the field (54.5 percent), 12 of 22 shots from 3-point range (54.5 percent) and 8 of 12 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent).

LSU held a 36-24 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had nine assists and nine turnovers, while the Tigers had 24 assists and 10 turnovers.

Colin Borchert added 11 and Ware added 10 for MSU.

LSU received 21 points from Charles Carmouche and a double-double from Johnny O'Bryant (10 points, 11 rebounds). Andrew Del Piero added 13 points, while Anthony Hickey and Andre Stringer each added 10.

MSU travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Wednesday for another SEC road matchup with Alabama. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. with a regional telecast available on The SEC Network.

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