Men's Basketball Ends Skid at Mississippi St.
LSU (11-17, 3-10 Southeastern Conference) snapped a 10-game losing streak, dating back to a Jan. 12 victory over Arkansas. The Tigers ended their misery by scoring their most points since a season-opening win over Northwestern State.
Renardo Sidney scored 24 points and Dee Bost added 15 as Mississippi State overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half, tying the score at 77 with 1:41 left. But the Bulldogs never took the lead.
Mississippi State (14-13, 6-7) lost despite shooting 56 percent from the field (28 of 50) and outrebounding LSU 38-32. Riley Benock missed an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer that would have tied it.
LSU trailed by 13 early, but used a 25-8 run to take a 45-41 lead by halftime. The Tigers shot 8 of 14 (57 percent) from 3-point range in the first half.
LSU ended more than month of losses thanks to an offensive explosion compared to past games. The common theme during the 10-game losing streak was an anemic offense that never scored more than 61 points and averaged just 54.5 points per game.
But LSU pushed past the 61-point mark with more than 12 minutes remaining, and five players finished in double figures. Ralston Turner and Garrett Green both scored 12 points and Andre Stringer added 10.
LSU forced 18 Mississippi State turnovers.
LSU stretched its lead to 63-53 on a Warren layup with 12:01 left, but Mississippi State stayed close, tying the score at 77 on Sidney's fast-break layup with 1:41 remaining.
Green tipped in an offensive rebound with 1:17 remaining to give LSU a 79-77 lead and the Tigers held on the rest of the way. Benock's look was clean as time expired, rattling around the rim before finally falling to the floor.
Mississippi State has lost four of its last seven and fell into a tie with Arkansas for second place in the SEC's Western Division. The Bulldogs lost for just the third time in the past 11 games against the Tigers.
LSU Coach Trent Johnson
"This was a great win for us. We know when we come to Mississippi State University it is going to be a hard to win. We have to come out ready to play no matter what."
On Rick Stansbury's coaching...
"One thing I have always respected about Rick (Stansbury) was his ability to always have his guys ready to play."
On this season and what tonight's win meant ...
"We have not been playing very well. It has been a while, but we had to continue to fight."
On mentality for the game...
"I always tell my guys to worry about the next possession, not the turnovers, but the next possession and the next play of the game. I constantly pressed into my players to come hard no matter whether it's defense or offense."
3 Garrett Green; Jr. F.
On consistency in second half...
"We came out and played great defense in the second half. We pressured and were able to get a lot of turnovers. For me, I knew I had to hit the boards when they went with a smaller line-up inside, and I was fortunate enough to get some good tip-ins."
On team confidence...
"We have never really gotten down on ourselves this year. Every one of us has consistently pushed each other to keep going and it paid off tonight."
45 Aaron Dotson; So. G.
On his overall play tonight...
"Lately, I have been shooting well and working on that shot a lot. We watched a lot of film on Mississippi State and saw how they went under a lot of ball screens. Every time they went under, I took the shots and they went in."
On LSU's play tonight...
"I honestly feel like we were tired of losing. This whole season has been rough on us because we know that we can play. The coaches and players have done a great job staying positive and pushing each other and it really helped us tonight. Everybody on the floor played their part and we did very well together."
Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Stansbury
"I will give LSU credit. Trent Johnson had his players ready tonight. They survived us jumping on them with an early lead. LSU got back into the game by making a lot of big shots. Aaron Dotson was 4-20 shooting on the year from three point range, and he gets three shots during that stretch in the first half where LSU was making a lot of threes. The game came down to two things: our missed free throws, and LSU's second chance points. I think we had a lot of turnovers at crucial times tonight. We missed a few block-outs as well on Garrett Green when the game was tied that hurt."
On LSU's shooting ...
"In the first half LSU made eight three-pointers and in the second half they made one. LSU deserves credit. They rose up and made shots. LSU has been close in a lot of games this year. They just have not closed the games out. We jumped up early on them, but after that point they came out and kept making baskets."
On Renardo Sidney's free throw shooting...
"He has been shooting his free throws well all year. Sidney just did not make them when he had to tonight."
On Riley Benock's last shot...
"I thought the shot was going down, but it didn't. We had no timeouts at that point so Riley's shot was about the best you could have asked for in that situation."