LSU was led in scoring by Jamie Lloreda, Collis Temple and Antonio Hudson, all of whom scored 11 points apiece. Torris Bright also chipped in with 10.
MSU and Kentucky meet in the Superdome at high noon Sunday.
With a crowd of over 22,000 in attendance at the Kentucky/Auburn game, the crowd could wind up being over 25,000 for the Sunday championship game.
Mississippi State Notes:
"I want to commend LSU; they had a great season. I thought that LSU was playing as well as anyone in this league right now and probably as well as anybody in the country. They had won seven straight."
"Defensively, there was no question which team controlled the tempo. I thought that our defense got our offense going. Being able to score in transition opened up three-point shots."
"I thought that our team was the toughest team on that floor. That's what we talked about at halftime. I thought the toughest team would win in the second half. Every time LSU made a run at us, our players found a way to answer. That's what good teams do."
You were down by 9 rebounds at the half, then outrebounded them 24 to 13 in the second half. How much was that a factor in the game?
"That was one of the major factors. What was going to make the difference in the last 20 minutes was the team that found the toughest to defend and rebound. There was no question that our team set the tone in the second half at the defensive end. We thought that we had the advantage offensively in transition. At the one, two and three spots we thought that we were quicker. I thought that we used that to our advantage all game long. I thought that was huge.
"You have to get stops to run. We were getting stops and we were rebounding the basketball and we were making them convert back defensively. I thought as the game went on, we got stronger."
If you play Kentucky tomorrow, what do you expect?
"We are very happy to be playing in the championship game. There is no question that Kentucky has played the best basketball of anybody in the country. It will be a very difficult challenge for us tomorrow. We will find a way to show up at noon and see if we can give them a decent fight."
What kind of seeding do you think you are playing for?
"I think there is no question, after today's win and winning the SEC West, it is a four-seed at worse. I think if we win the tournament tomorrow we move up to a three. This is the best league in America. You have won the West and you are playing in the championship game. I don't think there is any question that we have played ourself up to a four-seed."
Talk about Timmy Bowers' play today.
"I want him to be aggressive. He has got to have an aggressive personality on that basketball court. I thought that Torris Bright would have a hard time keeping up with him. He made shots, he drove it, he did it all. I think that was a huge advantage that we had at that position."
Talk about Jamie Lloreda and Mario Austin one on one today.
"They went at it, they went at it. I thought that we got the best of it in the first half because Lloreda went out with three fouls. Lloreda is a load, but I thought that we contained him about as well as you could. He as 5-for-14 for 11 points. We will take that. Mario wasn't effective as he normally is because they did a good job doubling him and getting to him."
Do you think other teams have not been as aggressive defensively on the perimeter against LSU during their recent winning streak as you guys were today?
"I don't know about other teams but that is one of our strengths. Normally, we would have probably zoned some, but I made a decision that there were going to beat us going against our strength and our strength is man to man defense. We played man for 40 minutes. I didn't zone one time."