NOTEBOOK: Defense fails Bulldogs again down stretch

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

BATON ROUGE – The theme continues: Mississippi State has trouble keeping quick guards out of the lane.
It was painfully evident on LSU’s last two buckets in its 69-67 overtime win Tuesday night. Point guard Anthony Hickey drove hit a floater with 23 seconds left in OT, then drove from left to right and got inside for an easy bucket with 1.4 seconds left
He scored the latter bucket after Brian Bryant missed a free throw with 11 seconds left.
“They nailed Dee out there high, butt-screened him out there high,” Stansbury said. “Wendell (Lewis) is guarding the ball, and he got by Wendell, too. You’ve got to stop that basketball.”
Hickey finished with eight points on 4 of 10 shooting and one assist, and Stansbury was pleased with how MSU defended him, on the whole.
“He wasn’t a factor in the game. He made that last-second shot, now. He made two plays.”
Too many turnovers
The Bulldogs committed 12 turnovers in the second half, two more in overtime and 21 for the game. That aided LSU as it rallied from a 17-point deficit.
“I’d have to go back, look at the film, break it down,” MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. “I don’t know where they came from. I don’t remember many turnovers leading to transition baskets.”
LSU scored 18 points off turnovers but just two fast-break points. MSU forward Arnett Moultrie committed six turnovers, while point guard Dee Bost committed five.
Smith returns
DeVille Smith returned to action after missing six games. The freshman guard logged six minutes and didn’t have a huge impact, but MSU was glad to see him back.
Smith had been out after suffering headaches and dizziness.
“Any minutes we get there is good minutes,” said Stansbury.
brad.locke@journalinc.com