MSU falls at LSU 78-57 in regular season finale

The Bulldogs and Tigers will meet again Thursday in the SEC Tournament.

Posted: Mar. 3, 2018 11:21 PM
Updated: Mar. 3, 2018 11:21 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - Mississippi State saw a tough ending to the regular season, falling 78-57 to LSU Saturday at the Maravich Assembly Center.

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MSU dropped its second-straight game to close out the regular season at 21-10 overall and 9-9 in league play. LSU won its sixth straight at home to improve to 17-13 and 8-10.

The Bulldogs now turn their attention toward the SEC Tournament at Scottrade Center in St. Louis where they will be the No. 7 seed and face No. 10 LSU at 6 p.m. The winner advances to play SEC co-champion Tennessee on Friday. MSU and LSU also met last year, with the Bulldogs rolling to a 79-52 victory in Nashville.

"Our defense really struggled in the first half," MSU coach Ben Howland said. "We didn't have the fire and intensity you need defensively. Not getting to the foul line was a problem. We shot seven free throws and they blocked one shot. That shows you aren't getting to the rim.

"Now, we need to rest up and get some players healthy. We will take a couple of days off and get ready for the tournament."

Lamar Peters led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Quinndary Weatherspoon added 12 points, while Nick Weatherspoon had 11. Aric Holman had a team-high 7 rebounds.

The teams traded blows throughout the first 10 minutes of play.

A pair of Peters free throws gave the Bulldogs an early 11-8 lead. The lead then switched hands a couple of times with a jumper in the lane from Abdul Ado giving the Bulldogs a 21-18 advantage with 10:14 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs would then have a stretch of nine-straight misses from the field. The Tigers took advantage with a 12-0 run to take a 30-21 lead with 4:42 left in the half.

From there, the Bulldogs were fighting uphill.

A 3-pointer by Tyson Carter brought the Bulldogs back within four at 30-26.

LSU led 32-27 at halftime.

In the second half, the Bulldogs were back within three at 44-41 on a layup by Quinndary Weatherspoon. The lead was then cut to two before a back-breaking 10-2 run by the home team.

For the contest, MSU hit 23 of 56 shots from the field (41.1 percent), 6 of 23 shots from 3-point range (26.1 percent) and 5 of 7 shots from the foul line (71.4 percent). LSU hit 28 of 54 shots from the field (51.9 percent), 11 of 23 shots from 3-point range (47.8 percent) and 11 of 16 shots from the foul line (68.8 percent).

LSU received a game-high 16 points from Aaron Epps and Brandon Sampson. Tremont Waters added 14 points and Duop Reath added 12 points. Reath had a game-high eight rebounds for the Tigers.

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