Fast start propels LSU past Miss. St., 92-81

LSU rode a fast start to a 92-81 victory against Mississippi State on Wednesday. The Tigers scored the game's first 14 points, and five Tigers scored in double digits.

LSU scored the first 14 points against Mississippi State on Wednesday and never looked back, resulting in a 92-81 victory in the PMAC.

That marks the Tigers' highest point total in conference play this season, and ended a two-game losing streak. The friendly confines in Baton Rouge continue to be LSU's saving grace, and the Tigers rebounded from a tough road stretch to get things going back in the right direction.

The freshmen duo of Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin led the way for LSU offensively, with Martin totaling a career-high 20 points. Mickey finished with 19 and three other Tigers scored in double digits.

MSU didn't get their first points until four minutes in to the contest. The Tigers eventually rolled out to a 22-4 lead with 12:20 left to go in the first half.

"It's good to get off to that kind of start to show that we can get off to that kind of start," Mickey said. "It's a good feeling. We just have to continue to do it."

The Bulldogs did start to cut into that LSU lead though as the half progressed. MSU came within seven points at one point late in the half, and despite trailing by as many as 20, the Bulldogs went into halftime down 42-31.

MSU G Craig Sword was a big reason why they were able to start clawing back into the game. He finished with 33 total points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field.

"We've got to do a better job in containing and helping," said LSU coach Johnny Jones. "One individual like that is hard to stop, but as a team we have to put ourselves in a position to not let him get to the rim."

LSU controlled the second half though, preventing MSU from providing much of a threat. Each team scored 50 points in the final 20 minutes, and the Tigers managed to come away with the victory.

It was a quiet night for Johnny O'Bryant as he finished with just six points on 2-of-11 shooting. But the rest of the team was able to make up for that lack of production.

"We were able to just make shots," said Anthony Hickey, who had 13 points and three assists. "We believed in each other and put ourselves in the right position. We were taking the shots we've been taking and we found our rhythm."

While LSU's relieved to get that taste of victory again, they have a big challenge awaiting them next as they venture to Rupp Arena to face Kentucky on Saturday.

"They can enjoy this game tonight, but they quickly have to turn their attention to Kentucky," Jones said. "It's a team we've had success against early in the year. It'll be a great atmosphere in Rupp Arena and we have to be prepared for it."


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