When MSU needed free throws, they missed them. When they needed to do nothing more than to inbound the ball, they passively threw it in, allowing LSU's Ronald Dupree to steal it. When they had a three on two break, they kicked the dribble, allowing LSU to take the ball away. And all these things happened in the last three minutes of regulation.
Some would call this a heartbreaking loss. I really don't know if there is a word to describe it, because it was there for the taking and MSU's players basically said no thanks. You win this game and you have a chance to hit the 20 win mark this Saturday against Auburn, a team that MSU defeated earlier in the season on Auburn's home court. You win this game and you probably secure an NCAA berth because you have three very winnable games coming up at the Hump.
But, the bottom line is Mississippi State did not win the game. Now, a little added pressure is on the team to earn that coveted NCAA berth. Will they be able to handle the pressure and still earn that berth?
While this team has played poorly a few times this year, they have played very, very well many more times. That is why their record is 18-7 and they have defeated the likes of Kentucky and Alabama, both ranked 5th when they left the Hump with losses.
Oh well, I could go on and on about the emotional aspects of this game, but it is time to talk a little about the game itself.
LSU was in led in scoring by Antonio Hudson, who scored 23. Other LSU players who scored in double digits were Ronald Dupree with 13 and Torris Bright and Jermaine Williams with 10 points each.
MSU was led by Timmy Bowers and Mario Austin with 17 points a piece. Marckell Patterson scored 16 and Derrick Zimmerman added 10.
Mississippi State will come back to the Hump to take on the Auburn Tigers, a winner over Mississippi last night. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
On the play of his team in the second half.
"At halftime, we were up 5 or 6 in rebounds. In the second half, we get outrebounded by 10. That is a big difference in the basketball game. We just didn't respond the way you have to respond when you are on the road, when you have somebody down. When we went to the free throw line in the second half, we were 7 of 15. And three of those were 1 and 1's. That is a lot of free throws in one half. You have to step up to that line and make those free throws in those situations. It makes it very tough when you don't."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.