By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
– Looking back: Phil Turner’s 25-foot jumper saved the game at LSU and the week for the Bulldogs.
In an 81-75 home loss to No. 2 Kentucky, State took a hit in the SEC standings, a hit by missing a key opportunity for an RPI win and a PR hit by throwing bottles on the floor during an ESPN game.
A loss at struggling LSU – the Tigers with their RPI of 217 – could have been crippling.
Instead, Turner’s NBA-range 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left, coupled with Arkansas’ loss at Auburn later in the evening, has the Bulldogs tied for first place in the SEC West.
– Looking ahead: The Bulldogs are at home Wednesday night at 8 against Alabama, then visit South Carolina on Saturday at 4.
– Who’s hot: Turner had only two baskets at LSU, both 3-pointers, and just five points the previous Tuesday against Kentucky, but for a six-points a game scorer, that was on track. His last basket of the week is enough to make him “hot.”
– Who’s not: Forward Romero Osby had an opportunity to advance his game last week with the drama surrounding struggling teammate Ravern Johnson, but Osby was just 3-for-10 from the floor, 0-for-3 from 3-point range for the week.
He drew two starts but managed just five points in 38 minutes against Kentucky, just two in 14 minutes against LSU.
– RPI watch: The Bulldogs begin the week with an RPI of 63.
– Bottom line: If the Bulldogs can finish 3-1 they’ll be 10-6 in the SEC, 22-9 overall. They’ll really help themselves if one of those wins is March 6 at home against Tennessee, a 20-win opponent with an RPI of 18.