BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Coming off an heroic effort off of the court, the Mississippi State Bulldogs routed the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Saturday afternoon.
Despite junior forward Duop Reath's third double-double this time, the Tigers lost to the Bulldogs, who shot 54% from the floor and made 11-of-22 three-pointers.
The Bulldogs jumped on LSU in the first half and went on to a 95-78 SEC victory on January 7.
Although the Bulldogs saw victory on the court, their true test of bravery came a day earlier. On Friday, while braving the winter weather to travel to Baton Rouge, the MSU team stopped to help an injured motorist whose car had flipped on the side of the interstate.
Reath scored 19 points and had 13 rebounds, while sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney scored 17 points and freshman guard Skylar Mays added 10 points.
The Tigers shot 40.3% (29-of-72) from the field and 9-of-27 three-pointers.
Freshman forward Aric Holman led the Bulldogs with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while New Orleans native guard Lamar Peters scored 15, along with Quinndary Weatherspoon's 14, IJ Ready's 13, and Mario Kegler's 11 added points respectively.
LSU had four leads throughout the first half, the last 20-19 with 9:53 to go in the first half. From that point on, MSU outscored the Tigers, 33-13, getting as much as 21, highlighted by an 11-0 run in the final 4 minutes of the half. The Bulldogs led, 52-33 at the break.
The Tigers missed their first seven shots of the second half as the Bulldogs led by as many as 26 throughout the half.
Reath was 8-of-14 from the field and seven of his 13 rebounds were offensive. Blakeney was 6-of-11 from the field and Mays 4-of-8, including 2-of-3 from the arc. The rest of the Tiger team was 11-of-39 shooting the ball. Junior guard Jalyn Patterson had just 6 points but had 6 assists and no turnovers, continuing his streak of no turnovers in SEC play.
With this lost, the Tigers fell to 9-5 overall and 1-2 in the SEC while MSU evened its record at 1-1 in the SEC and moved to 10-4 overall.
"Obviously, we are disappointed in having another setback at home in conference play. We understand the importance of winning at home, especially when you have a tight and tough conference race," head coach Johnny Jones says.
"tarting off the season 0-2 at home does not sit well with us. We have to make some corrections, identify those problems and make sure that we are getting better. We have to make sure that we do that quickly. We have to credit Mississippi State and the way they came in," Jones added.
"We have to take care of the ball, run the offense more efficiently, get better shots. Ultimately, it's just taking care of the ball," Mays said on what LSU has to do on the defense end in the future.
"It's really communication. Our coaches get on us a lot about talking and pointing, and we are not doing a great job of that right now. We have to go back to the drawing board, just keep grinding at it, and things will click. We will get better at it," Mays says.
LSU travels to College Station on Wednesday night for a 7:30 p.m. game with Texas A&M in a game broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and televised on the SEC Network. LSU returns home on Saturday, Jan. 14, to face Alabama in a 2:30 p.m. contest.