Naz Reid tied a season high with 29 points.
Gus Stark

Men's Basketball Notches 92-88 OT Victory in Starkville

Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

STARKVILLE, Miss – The LSU Tigers rallied from 10 points down in the second half to get Wednesday night’s game with Mississippi State to overtime and then Naz Reid outscored the Bulldogs 7-5 as the No. 21 Tigers came up with a fifth-straight road win, 92-88, at Humphrey Coliseum.

The Tigers also won for the third time in overtime on the road (Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi State) and raised its record to 8-1 at the halfway point of the Southeastern Conference race, and 18-4. The Tigers in 22 games have equaled last year’s 33-game win total.

Mississippi State fell to 4-5 at the halfway points and 16-6 overall.

LSU is in a tie for second in the SEC with Kentucky, one game behind Tennessee and two games ahead of South Carolina.

Reid equaled his career high with 29 points as Reid, point guard Tremont Waters and forward Kavell Bigby-Williams combined to score 69 of LSU’s 92 points. Reid hit 10-of-17 field goals, including two treys and 7-of-8 at the line with nine boards. Waters, who pushed LSU’s offense through much of the game had 26 points (11-of-18 FGs, one trey and three free throws) with five assists and five steals; and, Bigby-Williams had another double double with 14 points (6-6 field goals, two free throws) and 13 rebounds.

Quinndary Weatherspoon had 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting with 4 treys and a free throw to lead State with Reggie Perry getting 19 points and 10 rebounds and Tyson Carter and Aric Holman getting 12 each.

The overtime period began with the game tied at 83-83 and Mississippi State got the scoring started after Reid missed a shot with a bucket by Abdul Ado. Reid went 1-of-2 at the line to cut it to 85-84. Peters and Q Weatherspoon missed shots and on the LSU offensive end Waters found KBW for a layup and LSU had a one-point lead, 86-85, halfway through the five-minute extra session.

Both teams then turned the ball over back-to-back and off the steal by Perry, Nick Weatherspoon got a layup to give State back the lead, 87-86, with 1:53 to play.

Mississippi State took a timeout after the bucket and out of the break, Waters went for a layup that was blocked by Nick Weatherspoon. Perry got the rebound but Quinndary Weatherspoon had a turnover that led to a Naz Reid bucket and free throw to give the Tigers the lead for good at 89-87 with 59 seconds to play.

LSU fouled on the ensuing possession, but Perry only made one free throw to cut the LSU lead in half. The Tigers came down and Waters found Reid for a three-point attempt that bounced off the rim straight up and fell in to put LSU up by the final margin with 15 seconds to play.

In all, LSU would get 58 points in the paint to 46 for Mississippi State. Both teams turned the ball over a good bit (35 combined) and both teams had 26 points off turnovers in a game that LSU led for 11:14.

Early in the contest, both teams had sizeable leads but State had an amazingly long run that gave appearances that it might be a long night for LSU.

LSU, known for its slow starts, came out with 14 points in the first seven minutes, building a 14-5 advantage, but then with a 16-8 advantage with 11:52 to go in the first stanza, Mississippi State went on a 17-0 run that took the game to a 25-16 advantage in less than 4 minutes for the Bulldogs. Coach Wade had to call two timeouts trying to stop the run.

But the Tigers were able to get a 13-4 run of their own to tie the game at 29-29 with 3:44 to play, but State finished the half on a 13-5 run and led 42-34 at intermission, getting two three-point field goals in the final minute of the half.

After Mississippi State got their 10 point advantage, LSU slowly began to work their way back into things again, but unlike the Arkansas and Missouri games, the press didn’t play as big a factor.

Reid got a three-point play to get the game back to four points, 56-52, with 13:14 to play, but State continued to keep the Tigers a bay in the 5-7 point range for the next several minutes. The Tigers finally got it down to three, 65-62, with 9:15 left on a Waters three in a period when both teams were scoring on multiple consecutive possessions.

Down three at 76-73, off a State turnover, Waters went for a layup and misses, but Bigby-Williams got the rebound and hit a jumper to cut the game to one, 76-75, with 4:49 to play. Quinndary Weatherspoon got a driving layup to push it back to three and then Javonte Smart was fouled and made one free throw to tie the game at 78-78 with 3:12 to play.

State was called for an offensive foul on the other end and Waters drove in for a score to give LSU an 80-78 lead. Both teams missed trey attempts before Nick Weatherspoon scored to tie the game at 80 as the clocked dipped into the final two minutes. LSU and Waters responded again with another driving layup to give LSU the lead back at 82-80 with 1:35 left. But State would come right back and score on a Perry layup, tying the game at 82 with 1:10 left.

On the play Reid was called for his fourth foul, but Perry missed the free throw. Ado rebounded for State and as he tried to throw back to Peters, State was called for a backcourt violation as Peters had not reestablished possession in the front court.

State fouled Bigby-Williams who made one free throw to give LSU an 83-82 lead, but on the other end Quinndary Weatherspoon went to the line and went good-miss to tie the game at 83 with 37 seconds left. LSU missed a couple of chances and State did not get a clean look as the horn sounded sending the game to an extra session.

In the second half and overtime, Bigby-Williams would score 10 points, Waters 15 and Reid 25 points for the Tigers.

This was the second road game and second overtime game that both teams would finish shooting over 50 percent from the floor (Arkansas game in January). LSU finished 35-of-64 for 54.7 percent and State finished 32-of-59 for 54.2 percent. LSU made just three treys, including the game clincher, while State made eight. LSU shot 19-of-25 at the free throw line (76 percent). State was 16-of-24 at the line.

LSU out rebounded the Bulldogs, 35-30.

The Tigers play at home on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Auburn in a game televised by ESPN2 and broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. Tickets are available at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office and online at LSUtix.net.

LSU Head Coach Will Wade

Opening Statement

WW: “Obviously, a very good win for us. Mississippi State is a tremendous team. We had no answer for [Quinndary] Weatherspoon, and [Reggie] Perry tonight. They were just phenomenal. We were fortunate enough to get it to overtime. We kind of clawed our way back to get it to overtime, and then found a way to obviously hit the big three. Tremont [Waters] was tremendous all night. Very, very fortunate to win. [We] will certainly take it."

 

Q: What was different in this close finish compared to Saturday's?

WW: “Well, I thought we just did a better job controlling. We ran a few more sets. We did a better job controlling the shots and where things were coming from. We were a lot more solid down the stretch." 

 

Q: How frustrating was it to see them hitting the three-ball at the end of the first half?

WW: “I thought at the end, I thought we took some good threes. I thought at the end of the half it may have gotten away from us. [Aric] Holman was making a post move. We helped off [Tyson] Carter, who's a great three-point shooter. We gave up the three there, and we gave the three to Q [Quinndary Weatherspoon] at the end of the half. Those six points were huge. If we'd have lost, we'd have been kicking ourselves on those six points that we gave up." 

 

Q: How far down the order would Naz Reid have been to take the three-point shot?

WW: “He's statistically our best three-point shooter in league play so he would have been way up there. He would have been way up there in the order. It's a good shot for him. Did you hit two tonight? I think he was 2-of-3, something like that. Certainly, that's not what the play was drawn up for. Under the circumstances, it was a pretty good look."

 

Q: Do you feel like you were walking the same tight rope today after the Arkansas game?

WW: “No, we played better. The first half, we just turned the ball over too much. Only having four turnovers in the second half helped us. We had two really good days of practice. I felt like we were going to play well tonight.  We didn't even play as well as we practiced. I thought we practiced pretty well, and I thought we were going to come out and play well. It's tough when you play a team like Mississippi State. We could play our best game and still get beat. It makes it tough, but we were able to scratch it out tonight."

 

Q: How important was it to get this win tonight?

WW: “They are all important, but this one was very important coming off a loss and coming on the road in a tough environment like this. It was very important." 

 

Forward Naz Reid

Q: Tell us what went through your mind when you took the three, and saw it hit the rim and bounce up?

NR: “Just being ready to shoot. Tre [Tremont Walters] gave me the ball. I was able to shoot it and knock it down. It’s something that me and Coach [Will Wade] have been working on in the gym is being ready to catch and shoot and having my feet set. I was able to do that today.”

 

Q: Both of you were dealing with foul trouble for a lot of that second half and overtime, what was it like to adjust to that as the game progressed and especially when the game got in crunch time?

NR: “One thing that Coach [Will Wade] always preaches is to breathe and be the person you are. So, that is what we were able to do today.”

 

Guard Tremont Waters

Q: What were you seeing out there defensively?

TW: “I just came out pretty much playing my game as usual. The coaching staff obviously based off of [the] last game. I did not control the game as much. Postgame and overtime, I was able to settle everyone down and run the team. They had faith in me to make the right plays, and I did.”

 

Q: Do you truly feel the Arkansas game was a learning lesson and helped you tonight?

TW: “Most definitely. It was just kind of a similar situation with about 50 seconds left and 30 on the shot clock. So, it was pretty much the same situation. Like Coach [Will Wade] said though, we were a lot more solid on the stretch and just made plays.”

 

Q: Both of you were dealing with foul trouble for a lot of that second half and overtime, what was it like to adjust to that as the game progressed and especially when the game got in crunch time?

TW: “We just had to come out and play solid defense. As Coach [Will Wade] always says, in a six minute game, you have got to be solid on defense, control the ball and make free throws. We were pretty much able to stay solid on defense. That is what got the win.”

Head Coach Ben Howland

Opening Statement

BH: “Well, that was obviously a real gut-wrenching loss against a very good team. Give them credit – the way that they battled back. We had leads multiple times in the first and second half. They kept fighting back, but I take full responsibility. I didn’t do a good enough job managing our minutes. Getting enough minutes for Tyson [Carter] and Robert [Woodard II] in the second half. It really hurt us as the game wore on. So, it fully starts right here with me. I didn’t do as good of a job as I needed to.”

 

“Again, credit their guys. Naz Reid was fantastic. He had a phenomenal second half, and they did a really good job of getting him the ball. He had 25 in the second half and overtime. I thought [Tremont] Waters obviously was fantastic tonight and really really played well for them.”

 

Q: Did you consider calling a timeout, or were you more comfortable just letting the players play at the end of regulation?

BH: “In that situation right there going downhill to the basket, I thought there was a chance before they got their defense set with the game tied for us to get to the basket. Get one up there and maybe have a tap in at it. Rolled the dice, I knew we had a timeout left.”

 

Q: With leads going into halftime and teams coming back, is it more of a competition thing or is it the managing minutes?

BH: “I don’t know if it’s time and time again, but part of it is they’re really good. LSU is a very good team whose right there one game out of first place in our league right now and very talented. Some of it definitely is the minutes. We took some shots at times especially when had an eight, nine-point lead where we want to maybe manage them a little bit better and not be in a such a rush.”

 

Q: Robert [Woodard II] only played two minutes in the second half, do you attribute that to the game is not getting away from you with your team leading?

BH: “What the problem was that it was hard to take Quinndary [Weatherspoon] out because he was the one guy that really that had it going offensively. When we were playing Robert [Woodard II] at the four, it was hard at times because they were so big. They were 6-11, 6-10. He has been playing a lot there at the strength four meaning guarding guys that are more perimeter oriented than inside guys like [Kavell] Bigby-Williams and [Naz] Reid tonight. When he was in there at the beginning of the second half, he was matched up with number 22 [Darius] Days for a few minutes.”

 

Q: When you see a player like Naz Reid and Tremont Waters get going, what goes through your mind?

BH: “Credit both those kids – Reid is a heck of a player. He had the big play. We had the lead when we lost the ball … They had that time [with the video review] and called a quick hitter that Reid got open on a back screen. That was a huge play – quick turnaround because we had the ball up one and didn’t get up a shot. They turn around and get the ball. Reid’s shot that went in at the end – it hits the front and rolls forward, but we have to make him bounce that. We can’t let him get off that shot. We have to be up on him.”

Q: Aric Holman had a couple of tough games, what were you seeing from him tonight and see him get back in the flow?

BH: “I thought he did a good job, and he got on the offensive glass. It was a tough call that went against at in the end regulation where he got the offensive foul call where Q [Quinndary Weatherspoon] hit, and he drove it. I have to watch those to be able to evaluate them.”

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