MSU Defeats LSU 67-64

Mississippi State, behind outstanding defensive play, defeated LSU 67-64 Saturday afternoon before 10,046 fans in Humphrey Coliseum to go 2-3 in conference play.

After the teams played to a 9-9 tie for the first six and a half minutes of the first half, Mississippi State went on a 10-2 run to go ahead 19-11.

LSU then scored the next two baskets, one a three-pointer to pull back to within 3, 19-16, with 5:52 to go in the first half.

Over the next two minutes the teams would trade buckets to make the score 24-21, MSU.

From that point on, MSU outscored LSU 14-7 to take a 28-28 lead into halftime.

Mississippi State expanded the lead in the second half to as many as 14 before seeing LSU stage a furious rally during the last 55 seconds of the game that saw them pull to within 1 with 12 seconds left in the game.

After MSU's Derrick Zimmerman made two free throws to put MSU ahead by 3 with 7 seconds left in the game, LSU Torris Bright missed an off-balance three-point attempt with a couple of seconds on the clock.

Mississippi State helped the Tiger cause by missing 4 of 6 free throw attempts, including 2 one-in-one attempts, during the last 31 seconds of the game.

Mississippi State, playing with a healthy Mario Austin, who played injured against LSU during a 85-72 loss in Baton Rouge two weeks ago, held the Tigers to a 41.9% shooting night. Jamie Lloreda, who scored 19 points against Austin during the game in Baton Rouge was held in check this time, shooting 3-of-8 from the field and scoring 8 points.

MSU was led in scoring by senior Michal Ignerski. Other Bulldogs in double figures were junior Timmy Bowers with 14, sophomore Winsome Frazier with 11 and senior Derrick Zimmerman with 10.

LSU also had four players score in double figures, Ronald Dupree 15 points, Antonio Hudson with 12 and Darrel Mitchell and Torris Bright with 10 each.

Mississippi State, outrebounded by 9 by LSU in Baton Rouge, returned the favor by outrebounding LSU by 9 in yesterday's game.

Next up for the Bulldogs are the Ole Miss Rebels this coming Wednesday night in Oxford. Game time is set for 7 p.m.


Rick Stansbury:

"We are happy to get the win but aren't very happy the way we played the last 40 seconds or last minute of the basketball game. Give LSU some credit, they made three huge shots just to have a chance to make it close."

"LSU did a good job doubling the post every time Mario caught it, so it limited his catches and touches. It was good to see Iggy (Michal Ignerski) do well. I think he is such a key to our team. When Mario can't get the ball, Iggy has to step up and make some plays. And he stepped up and led us in rebounding and scoring."

"The same as the other night, I thought that (Winsome) Frazier came off the bench and gave us that great energy defensively, and gave us a spurt, offensively."

"I thought our defense was good all day long. I know (Ronald) Dupree had some points, but he got a bunch of those points late. I don't think he was a factor in this ballgame."

Talk about those last 50 seconds in the game.
"They made three unbelievable shots and we allowed it to be close because me missed some free throws. (MSU missed 4 of 6 free throws the last 31 seconds of the game, including the front end of two one-in-one free throw attempts.-Gene). We missed two one-in-ones and those other free throws. We make those, those other two three-pointers don't matter."

Talk about the defense on Lloreda this time.
"We had a different guy guarding him this time. It was the same body but a different player, Mario Austin. Mario was coming off that knee injury and we shouldn't have played him. Mario was much more active tonight. Lloreda only got 8 shots and 3 baskets, so Mario did a great job with him."

How important was it to win this home game?
"You have to win those home games. This team has to keep scratching to get back to where they were. Every game we win is a position, a step in the right direction."

What did you tell your defense to do on that last shot that was missed?
"We weren't going to give them an easy three-point shot. If it was a shot where we thought they would be in good position to get a shot off, then we were going to foul them. If they were struggling and didn't look like they could get it up, then we were going to switch all ball screens. Mario switched out on Bright and he came off that screen and really made him totally alter his shot and throw it up there. Z (Derrick Zimmerman) was on him, but Mario jumped out on the ball screen. We figured they would use a ball screen and we jumped out on it and totally broke Bright's timing and made him throw up a shot."

What do you tell Frazier when you put him in the game?
"I just let him play. He is an energy guy. He is going to make basketball plays for you. That block he had in transition was a huge play. That was a basketball play. You don't teach that. You don't tell him to go do that. That is having basketball instincts and abilities to go make those plays. Frazier is one of those guys who gets in passing lanes and gets a lot of deflections. Defensively, I think he is really good, especially on the ball. Offensively, we don't do a very good job, yet, of getting the ball to him to allow him to spot up shots."

Talk about Michal Ignerski a little more.
"He had two turnovers in 32 minutes. That is a plus. He was 7-for-12 from the field and didn't take many bad shots. He had 8 rebounds for us. Those are great stats for Iggy."

Ontario Harper doesn't appear to be in the flow the last couple of games.
"Harp's not in the flow right now for whatever reason. He is not playing his best basketball. For us to be our best, Harper has got to play better than he is playing. We are letting him play, but he is not playing his best basketball right now. The positive thing about that is he didn't play his best but we were still able to win."

LSU head coach John Brady:

Talk about MSU's defense today.
"I didn't think that was our problem at all, at all. I think our problem was mostly ourselves. I don't usually say that. I'm a pretty straight-shooter guy and tell you what I feel. I think it was ourselves.

"Nine free throws we shot. We threw the ball inside almost 50% of our possessions and we get to the line nine times." (MSU shot 18 free throws, 9 more than LSU, however, 8 of those were during the last 53 seconds of the game when LSU was intentionally fouling MSU's players to put them on the line.-Gene)

Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at

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