Hickey's Heroics Lift Tigers Past Bulldogs
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Anthony Hickey ripped off seven points over the last 46.7 seconds and connected on an 8-foot runner during the final seconds to vault the LSU men's basketball team to a thrilling 69-68 comeback victory over Mississippi State Saturday at Humphrey Coliseum.
It marked the second straight season that Hickey nailed a shot in the closing moments to enable LSU (12-7, 3-5 SEC) to erase a 17-point deficit against the Bulldogs (7-13, 2-6 SEC). The Tigers came away with a 69-67 overtime triumph over then No. 23 Mississippi State last season at the Maravich Center.
After a State timeout and with 7.9 seconds left on the clock, Hickey took the ball coast-to-coast and split a pair of Bulldog defenders just over mid-court. He leaned in and buried the one-handed 8-foot floater just outside the paint on the right block.
MSU's three-quarter court desperation heave as time expired ricocheted hard off the backboard which allowed LSU to secure the dramatic one-point win.
The Tigers trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, by 14 points at halftime, by 12 points midway through the second stanza and by six points inside the final two minutes.
During the second half, LSU outscored the Bulldogs by a 43-28 margin. The Tigers shot a crisp 53.3 percent fueled by a 16-for-30 effort. On the defensive end, LSU limited MSU to a 10-for-26 outing.
Down 66-60 with 1:17 left in the game, Charles Carmouche drilled a pair of free throws to pull LSU within four points. The Tigers forced MSU into a pair of turnovers, and Hickey canned a triple on the right wing followed by mid-range jumper as LSU snatched a 67-66 edge with 20 seconds to go.
The Bulldogs regained a 68-67 advantage 12 seconds later after Trivante Bloodman drove to the basket and sank a driving lay-up.
Hickey totaled all 12 of his points after a scoreless first half. It marked the 11th straight outing that Hickey has amassed double figures. He distributed four assists and played the final nine-plus minutes with four fouls.
Johnny O'Bryant III picked up his fifth straight double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The last LSU player to accomplish that feat was Glen Davis during the 2005-06 campaign.
Shavon Coleman chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds. He returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the Bethune-Cookman game on January 5.
Carmouche turned in an all-around solid effort with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. The seven rebounds equaled a career-best.
LSU took a 5-4 lead on a Morgan three-pointer with 17:17 remaining during the first half before Mississippi State seized the momentum behind 18 of the next 21 points over the next 7:23 off the clock. The Bulldogs capped the spurt and grabbed a 22-8 edge after a Gavin Ware dunk.
MSU remained ahead by double figures for the remainder of the half. Ware completed a 5-for-5 opening stanza with a lay-up and a jumper to give the Bulldogs their largest lead at 40-24. As a team, Mississippi State tallied a 16-for-28 shooting clip in the first half and took a 14-point advantage into halftime.
LSU crept back inside single digits, 44-35, after a Coleman traditional three-point play at the 15:30 mark of the second half. The Bulldogs went back ahead by 12 points courtesy of Bloodman's two free throws with 9:06 on the clock.
The Tigers didn't blink and made their move sparked by a 13-1 run. LSU's defense held Mississippi State without a field goal during the six-minute stretch.
A Morgan put back, two Carmouche lay-ups, a Hickey triple from the right wing, a Coleman runner in the lane and a pair of O'Bryant III free throws evened the ledger at 60-60 with 3:15 to go.
The Bulldogs had five players register double figures led by Ware's 14 points and seven rebounds in addition to Bloodman's 12 points and six rebounds.
LSU looks to continue its winning ways Wednesday as Vanderbilt visits the Maravich Center. Tip time is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will be carried online only via ESPN3.com and the Watch ESPN app. Tickets can be purchased online at LSUtix.net or by calling the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184.
The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge area and inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action.
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