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Tiger Comeback Falls Short at Mississippi State, 77-73

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Tiger Comeback Falls Short at Mississippi State, 77-73

STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 9 LSU’s fourth quarter comeback effort fell short as the Tigers fell at Mississippi State, 77-73, in front of a sold out Humphrey Coliseum on Monday night. The Tigers fall to 18-4 overall and 5-3 in SEC play. 

After LSU went into halftime with a 5 point lead, the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 28-17 in the third quarter to take a six point advantage into the final quarter. Mississippi State led by as many as nine in the final quarter, but LSU, using a full-court press was able to get it within three, but ultimately the Tigers did not get the stops they needed to have a chance to tie or take the lead.

“When you play a big game on the road like we had against South Carolina, you kind of watch your team and see how they react,” Coach Kim Mulkey said. “We played in spurts again. We had a lead and did some things early and then again in the second half we can’t seem to defensively get stops with this team when they matter.”

Angel Reese had another double-double that featured 18 rebounds and 20 points. It marks the 11th game this season Reese has reached 20-points or more. Reese accounted for 51-percent of the LSU rebounds. The junior went 7-17 from the field and was 6-8 from the foul line. 

Flau’Jae Johnson, Aneesah Morrow, and Mikaylah Williams were the only other Tigers to reach double figures. Johnson had 18 on 8-11, Morrow scored 14 on 6-18, and Mikaylah Williams had 12, with 9 in the second half.  

Jerkaila Jordan led all scorers with 24 points on 9-17 and 3-3 from deep. Jordan scored 12 of her points in the third quarter. Other Bulldogs to reach double figures were Miracle Sheppard with 12 and Darrione Rogers who finished with 19 points and 4 three-pointers. No Mississippi St. player had more than 6 rebounds. 

The Tigers are off on Thursday and will be back in action when they host Florida in the PMAC on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

LSU got off to an 8-2 start, but Mississippi St. used defensive pressure and sharp-shooting to build a 16-10 lead into the first media timeout. The Bulldogs held LSU scoreless for over three minutes through the middle of the quarter. The Tigers held Mississippi State without a field goal for the final three minutes of the quarter. LSU ended the opening quarter with a perfectly executed full court in bound play. Williams passed the ball to Reese over midcourt, Reese dropped it off to Johnson, who then assisted a wide open Morrow underneath the rim to make it 20-18, Bulldogs. 

After Williams toed things at 20, Reese hit two free throws to regain the LSU lead with two minutes to go before the half. The Tigers outscored Mississippi St. 12-4 for the first half of the quarter as LSU built its lead back up to 6 ahead of the media timeout. Morrow snapped a 6-0 Buldog run with a last second triple to take a 5 point lead into the break. 

Three Tigers ended the first half in double figures. Johnson, Reese, and Morrow all had 10 points in the first 20 minutes. Reese accounted for 9 of the Tigers’ 16 rebounds. LSU shot 16-32 for 50-percent from the field compared to Mississippi St.’s 15-34 for 44.1-percent. The Tigers earned 19 points off of 10 Bulldog turnovers in the first half. 

Jordan led the Bulldogs on a 12-2 run that was capped off with a go-ahead three-pointer that gave Mississippi St. a 49-46 lead three and a half minutes into the third. After two more lead changes, Jordan had 21 points at the media timeout. LSU called a timeout with under three minutes to go as the Bulldogs went 4 of its last 4 from the field to go on a 7-0 run and take a 5-point lead. The Tigers went 0-10 from the field down the stretch, but hit all 4 of its free throws to stay within striking distance. LSU was outscored 28-17 in the third quarter and went into the final ten minutes behind by 6. 

After a 4-0 Johnson run, Mississippi St. scored 7 straight to extend its lead to double-digits, 72-16. At the next timeout 2 points were taken off the board for Mississippi St. after the previous bucket was reviewed and shot clock violation awarded. The Bulldogs called for a timeout after Johnson and Morrow scored on back to back possessions to put the Tigers within five, 70-65. LSU forced 4 turnovers and held Mississippi St. scoreless for over 4 minutes as the Tigers had fouls to give. Rogers broke the drought with a big three to put Mississippi St. up by 6 with a minute remaining. With 17 seconds to go, Williams connected on her first three of the night to put LSU down by 3. Rogers went to the line and went 1-1 to make it a 4 point game and hand LSU its second loss in a row.