BATON ROUGE - Anthony Hickey nailed an 8-foot floating runner in the lane with 1.4 seconds left in overtime followed by an Andre Stringer steal to complete the LSU men's basketball team 69-67 comeback triumph over No. 23 Mississippi State Tuesday at the Maravich Center.
Hickey buried two contested shots to double his point total in the final 22 seconds of overtime. His first was an off-balanced lay-up after racing through the lane with the shot clock running down that placed LSU ahead, 67-63.
Nine seconds later, MSU's Renardo Sidney canned a triple to draw the Bulldogs back to 67-66. Following a timeout, State forced a LSU turnover on the ensuing in-bounds play. Brian Bryant was fouled, but only made 1-of-2 at the line.
That set the stage for Hickey, who went racing down the court. He used a Justin Hamilton screen and scooted into the paint for the game winner.
LSU (15-10, 5-6 SEC) fought back from a 17-point first half hole in addition to a seven-point deficit with just under 10 minutes left in regulation.
With the Tigers down 48-41 at the 9:41 mark of the second half, Ralston Turner buried a three-pointer and a jumper to spark a 13-2 run over the next 3:34. He poured in 13 of his game-high 17 points during the second half and overtime.
LSU took its first lead of the game, 54-50 with 6:07 remaining, after back-to-back Storm Warren baskets. Warren collected 10 points and equaled a season-best with 11 rebounds.
Mississippi State (19-7, 6-5 SEC) recaptured the momentum and reeled off the next six points capped by a Rodney Hood jumper with 2:51 left in regulation.
LSU responded with a Hamilton jumper 59 seconds later to deadlock the tally at 56-56. He chipped in 14 points and added a career-high four steals.
MSU's Arnett Moultrie along with Hamilton traded a pair of free throws down the stretch to keep the score even at 58-58. Moultrie, who matched a career-high 28 points during the first meeting between the two teams in Starkville, was limited to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting and tacked on 11 rebounds. He also was forced into six turnovers.
At the end of regulation, Hamilton had a three-point attempt from the top of the key bounce off the back iron to send the game into overtime. The Tigers broke a 63-63 tie on two Warren free throws with 1:10 remaining in the extra period.
Mississippi State knocked down 12-of-21 shots in the first 14 minutes of the game to build a 30-13 advantage. Dee Bost cranked out 13 of his team-leading 15 points aided by a trio of three-pointers. He was held to only two points the rest of the way due to Stringer's pressure defense.
LSU stormed back with 23 of the next 29 points, including the first seven points of the second half to pull even at 36-36. Stringer and Turner combined for 13 of the team's 23 points during the spurt highlighted by Turner's three-ball on the left baseline at the first half buzzer.
LSU opens the stretch run of its final five regular season games Saturday at South Carolina. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:47 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on the SEC Network along with ESPN3.com
The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on 100.7 FM (The Tiger) in the Baton Rouge area. Jim Hawthorne, Kevin Ford and Ricky Blanton will call the action.
The Tigers return home Wednesday, Feb. 22, versus Georgia (7 p.m. - SEC Network).
LSU HEAD COACH TRENT JOHNSON
Opening statement ...
"Boy I tell you what, we found, I don't know how many lives we've got, but we found a way to win. The start was horrendous. I don't know what they (the players) told you, but there weren't a lot of adjustments going on at halftime. There was just one very immature basketball coach. If you want to know, I'll walk you through the late clock situation. Obviously, when Anthony [Hickey] made the runner, what we wanted to do if they made the free throw or not, we were out of timeouts, we wanted to bring it on the bounce. He [Hickey] did a great job of getting in the lane, he has great courage."
"In regulation, we usually run five up and we roll Justin (Hamilton) and bring Storm (Warren) and Johnny (O' Bryant) back. Storm had missed his last two on five up, and Johnny had missed it too. We just wanted to invert it because [Mississippi State's Renardo] Sidney didn't like to come out. So we wanted to ... roll Storm and bring Justin back up and he had a wide open three there. He made the one in overtime; he missed one in the late clock situation in regulation."
"Defensively, the start for whatever reason, I thought our energy was just God-awful. I thought Chris Bass, I thought John Isaac, I thought Storm Warren, I thought Malcolm White, especially Malcolm were great. They got us back in this thing. It turned into a possession-by-possession game, and we did a decent job of not letting them run out on us. For the most part, I thought we battled them on the glass."
GUARD ANTHONY HICKEY
On his winning shot...
"The clock was going down, and I have to give credit to my big man [Justin Hamilton] for setting the pick, I just floated it in. My team has confidence in me, and I have confidence in them. I took the shot, and it went in."
On making something happen in overtime...
"We all fight every day, our confidence never goes down. We are starting to build a family on this team, and we are starting to come together. We are starting to have faith and dig deep. I give credit to our whole team for this win."
CENTER JUSTIN HAMILTON
On the final shot in regulation...
"At the end, we knew that Renardo Sidney hadn't been coming up and guarding me. We knew that I could be open. They ended up switching out. (Anthony) Hickey and I had to play a two-man game and try to get the open shot. It just so happened I got the open shot. I didn't knock it down, but I just wanted to make it up for the team in the overtime and knock down that three."
GUARD RALSTON TURNER
On the team's slow start...
"It was just a slow start, it was not on purpose. We had some miscues early and a lot of things that were uncharacteristic. We did a good job of putting it behind us and just kept fighting to see if we could make a game out of it. Fortunately, we were able to come away with the win."
Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Stansbury
On Anthony Hickey ...
"I thought we did a heck of a job on him. Now, he was no factor in this game. He had eight points. He was four-for-ten, zero-for-five at the three-point line, one assist. He was not a factor in the game. He made that last second shot if that is what you are asking about, and he made two plays. I thought we did a great job on him all game long. We held him below his average. He has one assist, one assist."
On the last play of the game ...
"You have to break down and stop the basketball. It is happening in transition, on a missed free throw, everybody is flowing in transition. You do not get set [on defense], and you have got to see all of that stuff happening. Again, I know you guys magnify the last play. That is just one play of 65. There are 64 other ones that we can make somewhere else, and that was not as important. I thought for most of the game we were darn good. We came out ready to play, we jumped on them and we had all kind of opportunities to close this thing out. There was a bad play before half, five-point swing. They come out the second half and cut that seven-point lead down, tie it up, and we go back up nine, go back up nine. Again, they made some plays. We had some turnovers, missed easy shots and they made some plays."
On playing on the road ...
"When you are on the road, if you can find a way to win anyway you can, that is great. That is life on the road. We out rebounded them [by] 11, held them to 41 percent shooting. We shoot 45 percent. Turnovers were the difference in that game, possession wise. They gave us more possessions. We have 21, they have 11 or so."
Guard Dee Bost
On how much losing this game hurts
"It hurts. That's what it's like on the road. It's tough. We can't blame anybody but ourselves. Can't blame the refs, can't blame Coach. We played the game. We blew the game. We gave it up, so that's all we can do is blame ourselves."
On what changed to put LSU back into the game
"They made shots. First half, they didn't make shots. Second half, they made shots."
On defending Hickey
"He made some plays. You have to give him credit."
On the remaining schedule
"It's a road game. That's what it's like on the road. Just because we drop one at home, that was disappointing, but this was a road game and that's how it is on the road."
Forward Arnett Moultrie
On the charge call near the end of the second half
"I should have gathered myself and stopped and gone up strong. It all happened so fast. I don't think it was a charge though."
On his shoulder
"It's fine. I got some treatment. I'll be ready to go on Saturday."
On controlling the post
"Coach had me fronting him (LSU's Johnny O'Bryant III), so I did a good job of taking his post touches away."
On losing back-to-back games in overtime
"We just need to learn from it and go on a nice little winning streak."