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LSU Basketball Falls to Mississippi State, 87-67

Trae Hannibal drives to the goal against Mississippi State.

LSU Basketball Falls to Mississippi State, 87-67

BATON ROUGE – Mississippi State shot 59 percent from the field and 6-of-10 from distance in the final 20 minutes to record an 87-67 victory over LSU Saturday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

State was 16-of-27 overall and shot 60 percent in the second half as they outscored LSU 47-34 in the final half after taking a 40-33 halftime lead.

Mississippi State (19-8, 8-6) out rebounded LSU, 37-34, in the second half and 16-12 in offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs had a 27-10 advantage in second chance points.

There were seven ties and seven lead changes in the first 15 minutes of the game before Mississippi State took the lead for good on a fast break layup by Josh Hubbard, 31-29, with 4:21 to go before halftime. Hubbard would add two free throws off a deadball technical on LSU at the 3:07 mark to make it 33-29. On the ensuing possession, the Bulldogs got a three-pointer from Dashawn Davis to make the lead seven, 36-29, with 2:52 left.

LSU’s shooting touch from deep was absent for much of the game as the Tigers were 1-of-9 from the arc in the opening 20 minutes, with the lone shot coming from Tyrell Ward with 14:51 to go in the first half. Ward later had to leave with what was described by Coach McMahon in the postgame as “a muscle issue.”

LSU made just 2-of-8 in the second half and finished the game 3-of-17 from distance (17.4 percent). For the game, LSU was 24-of-58 overall for 41.4 percent.

In the second half, State got the first four points to get the lead to 11 points and LSU was able to get back to within seven after that, but could not sustain the rally as the Bulldogs were able to get baskets on multiple possessions.

The Tigers were led in scoring by point guard Trae Hannibal who had a career high 22 points. Jordan Wright scored 14.

For Mississippi State, Hubbard had 32 points with six treys, while Tolu Smith III added 19 and KeShawn Murphy added 11. For the game, the Bulldogs finished 30-of-65 for 46.2 percent including 10-of-21 from distance. MSU was 17-of-22 at the free throw line.

LSU (14-13 6-8) doesn’t have long to recover as they will play for the third time in seven days on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. against Georgia. UGA won the opening meeting between the two teams in Athens on Jan. 24, 68-66.

LSU vs Mississippi State
February 24, 2024
LSU Head Coach Matt McMahon QUOTES

“Credit to Mississippi State, they were terrific tonight. Really a complete performance. Shot the ball exceptionally well from three and at the free-throw line as well. I thought in the first half, you know a back-and-forth game. We gave up some transition points that really hurt us there and then the second-chance points in the first half, and in the second half, again, we just didn’t have it. They just took off and left us there. Thought they really executed on the offensive end, and their physicality and pressure really bothered us defensively, as evidenced by our four assists to 15 turnovers. So, a quick turnaround to get ready for Georgia, and that’s how we’ll approach these next 48 hours.”

On trying to create offensive production with the absence of Tyrell Ward in the second half…
“Well, I think you saw the floor shrunk on us tonight, certainly. I thought we got some good looks from behind the three-point line in the first half. We didn’t knock those down; second half we just weren’t able to create those same looks. I thought we over-dribbled some. You have to understand, Mississippi State with the way they play, they really do a great job. When you drive it, they swarm to the ball. They’re first in our league or last in our league, depending on how you look at it, in the percentage of shots that are threes by their opponents. Almost half of their opponent’s shots are threes because they do such a good job of swarming to the ball and taking away the driving lanes. And so, as we were unable to get anything going from behind the arc, I thought the floor really shrunk on us, and we overdribbled and that led to some bad turnovers that cost us in transition.”

Mississippi State Head Coach Chris Jans

On the trust he has for KeShawn Murphy…
“The trust I have for him is high. He is a willing defender. He has been really working on it. He has been receptive to what we are trying to do with him on the defensive side of the floor. It does not take much to figure out he is talented offensively. Obviously, he has great length, and he just gives us a different look when he is on the floor with his ability, at 6’10” to play either the four, even the five, he can stretch the D, and it gives us another scorer out there. He is underrated with his driving ability, his passing ability, he really sees the floor. He keeps getting better on the defensive end, and because of that, he is on the floor more. It has been really, really good, and he has been a shot in the arm for us the past five or six games.”

On his team staying the course in the second half…
“You know, we were really good on the glass in the first half on both sides, and that is a thing we talk about most games, and not just this particular game. And then, in the second half, we were fine on the offensive glass, we were good. I did not think we were great on the defensive glass, especially to start the second half, I think they (LSU) got four or five rebounds in the first five or six minutes, and that is something we have talked about a ton. I thought the difference was our guys really settled in defensively. I thought our ball pressure and our ability to guard the ball was good, and everyone got into it and we just kind of kept them at bay. They (LSU) are really good at getting to the rim. They lead the league in percentage of shots at the rim, and that is something we really focused on coming into this week, doing our work out front, doing our work on the ground, trying to avoid those situations if we could. I just felt like our guards were really doing a good job getting to the ball which allowed us to get out and run a little bit and open up a lead.”