Mississippi State Basketball: Defense dooms Bulldogs in 94-80 loss to LSU

Mississippi State Basketball: Mississippi State 80, LSU 94

The defense has been the calling card for Mississippi State all season long, but that was not the case on Wednesday night as LSU poured in 94 points to upend the Bulldogs by a final of 94-80. With the loss, Mississippi State dropped to 11-10 (5-7 SEC), while Will Wade’s Tigers improved to 12-6 (7-4 SEC).

The go-to players for LSU performed well on Wednesday, with Trendon Watford (14 pts), Darius Days (16 pts, 11 rebs), Cam Thomas (25 pts), and Javonte Smart (22 pts, 11 assists) all finishing in double-figures. The Tigers were scorching hot all game long, shooting 61.3% from the field and 45.5% from three-point range.

Freshman Derek Fountain proved to be a spark offensively for Mississippi State. His 15 first-half points kept the Bulldogs in it through the first 20 minutes, as LSU led 41-39 heading into the locker room.

Every Mississippi State run was answered with a Tiger blow of their own. Thomas and Days repeatedly hit the big outside shot to keep the Bulldogs at bay. Watford scored at will inside the paint throughout the game.

Iverson Molinar‘s three with 10:41 to go in the game cut LSU’s lead to four at 66-62. The Tigers responded quickly with a three from Smart and a breakaway dunk from Eric Gaines to go up by nine. The Bulldogs threatened at the eight-minute mark with Deivon Smith‘s emphatic slam cutting LSU’s lead to just three, 73-70.

However, another bucket from Smart and a three from Thomas extended the Tiger lead to eight with seven minutes left. LSU took control from that point until the final buzzer sounded, walking away with a 94-80 win.

Mississippi State had a solid night offensively, with four scorers finishing in double-figures. Tolu Smith led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds on 10-11 from the field. Fountain continues to impress as his minutes on the floor have increased, finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds on 4-7 from three.

Molinar and Deivon Smith joined the others in double-digits with 16 and 12, respectively. The Bulldogs shot 53.6% from the field and knocked down 9-24 from beyond the arc.

Mississippi State returns to the Hump on Saturday to take on SEC cellar-dweller Vanderbilt. Tip-off is set for 12 PM and will be on the SEC Network.

LSU Tigers
94
Mississippi State Bulldogs
80

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