No. 15 Bulldogs Drop 2OT Heartbreaker To LSU

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State battled valiantly from an 11-point deficit, but the No. 15/18 Bulldogs were unable to complete the comeback as LSU rallied for a 71-69 win in double overtime Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

“Awfully proud of the team, hate the outcome,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I am very disappointed for our kids. We had close to 5,000 (4,727, sixth largest in school history). Our fans have been outstanding this year. LSU just made one more shot than we did.”

With the victory, LSU improved to 9-8 overall and 3-2 in conference play, while MSU fell to 18-2 and 3-2. The Bulldogs were playing four days after seeing its season-opening 18-game win streak snapped with a loss to Vanderbilt.

LSU scored the game’s first seven points and held the momentum throughout the first half. The Tigers shot 66.7 percent from the field in the opening half.

The Bulldogs trailed by three points at 11-8, 15-12 and 17-14. The Tigers scored the game’s next seven points and eventually built a 27-16 lead with 4:25 left in the opening half.

MSU closed the first half with an offensive charge and closed within 31-28 at the intermission.

In the second half, MSU turned up the heat defensively, holding the Tigers to 36.0 percent shooting the second half.

A 3-pointer by Dominique Dillingham capped a 6-0 run to bring MSU within 37-36 with 14:12 left in regulation. A 3-pointer by Jerica James tied the game at 41, and two free throws by Sherise Williams two minutes later gave State its first lead.

The lead switched hands several times with the Bulldogs never leading by more than three points in regulation time. A block by Dillingham on LSU’s last possession closed out to a 53-53 tie and sent the game into overtime.

In the first overtime, the Bulldogs had three three-point leads. With 8.6 seconds left, LSU advanced the ball into the frontcourt and Danielle Ballard hit a game-tying 3-pointer.

In the second overtime, the Bulldogs grabbed a 68-65 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Dillingham. MSU committed back-to-back turnovers though and LSU reeled off the game’s final six points.

“It was a knock down drag out game,” Schaefer said. “I hate it for these kids. They played their guts out. LSU is a Top 25 team. Now that Ballard is back, they are a really good team. I am proud of the effort. It hurts to lose a game like this. I love the fight of my team.”

For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 20 of 58 shots from the field (34.5 percent), 7 of 22 shots from 3-point range (31.8 percent) and 22 of 32 shots from the foul line (68.8 percent). The Tigers hit 27 of 54 shots from the field (50.0 percent), 2 of 7 shots from 3-point range (28.6 percent) and 15 of 25 shots from the foul line (60.0 percent).

MSU held a 37-32 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 14 assists and 24 turnovers, while the Tigers had eight assists and 26 turnovers.

Dillingham led MSU with a season-high 18 points, while James added 16 points.

Ballard led LSU with 24 points, while Raigyne Moncrief added 18 points and DaShawn Harden added 13 points.

MSU remains home for a 3 p.m. start Sunday against Alabama. That contest, the team’s annual “We Back Pat” game, will be televised regionally by Fox Sports Net South.

Gene's Page Top Stories