By Brett Martel/The Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. — Anthony Hickey hit a driving floater in the paint with 1.4 seconds left in overtime, lifting LSU to a 69-67 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday night.
Ralston Turner led LSU (15-10, 4-5 Southeastern Conference) with 17 points, but nearly cost the Tigers the game with a turnover that put Brian Bryant on the foul line with 11 seconds left. Bryant made only one free throw to tie it at 67, however, taking pressure off LSU as it set up the final shot.
Justin Hamilton scored 14 points for LSU, which has won two straight, while Storm Warren added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Dee Bost had 15 points and Rodney Hood 14 for the Bulldogs (19-7, 6-5), who’ve lost two straight for the first time all season, both in overtime.
Renardo Sidney added 13 points for Mississippi State, which was ranked in the AP Top 25 until losing to Georgia 70-68 in overtime on Saturday. Arnett Moultrie had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bulldogs started 4 of 7 from 3-point range and led by as many as 17 in the first half, but made only 2 of 11 from deep the rest of the way. Mississippi State also turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 18 LSU points. The Bulldogs outrebounded LSU 43-32 but LSU came up with some big rebounds in the clutch.
Warren’s 10th rebound on a miss by Hickey led to his ninth and 10th points on a pair of free throws that gave LSU a 65-63 lead with 1:10 left in overtime.
Hickey pushed the Tigers’ lead to four on a driving floater off the glass with 22 seconds remaining, but Sidney hit a 3 with 12.2 seconds left and then Turner overthrew Hamilton on the next inbound pass. Bryant intercepted the pass and was fouled driving to the hoop, setting up the dramatic finish.
LSU scored the first seven points of the second half, completing a 23-6 run that had started late in the opening half and tied the game at 36.
Sidney later scored six points on short jumper, tip-in and layup during a 10-1 Mississippi State run that put the Bulldogs back up 46-37, but LSU once again responded, this time with a 13-2 run, vaulting in front 54-50 on consecutive baskets by Storm Warren.
Bryant tied it with four straight points on a driving floater and a steal that he converted in a soaring fast-break one-handed jam, and Mississippi State twice took a two-point lead in the final minutes, with Hamilton tying the game each time for LSU and then drawing a charge on a drive by Moultrie with 30 seconds to go.
LSU then got the ball to Hamilton for a perimeter shot to win it, but it clanked off the rim, forcing overtime.
The Bulldogs led early in overtime on Hood’s 3, but Hamilton hit a 3 of his own, marking the third time he had pulled LSU into a tie since the final 2 minutes of regulation. Hamilton then gave LSU its first lead of overtime when he stuffed an alley-oop lob from Stringer, but Wendell Lewis’ gritty putback tied the game once more at 63.
Mississippi State shot nearly 54 percent (15 of 28) in the first half and raced to a double-digit lead in the opening 10 minutes, thanks in part to LSU’s woeful shooting. The Tigers hit only three of their first 14 shots, several times looking out of control and missing badly when they tried to go inside. Most of their early shots came from outside and deep into the shot clock, and they weren’t falling. LSU made only one of its first five attempts from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs, by contrast, made four of their first seven 3s, including three straight by Bost, the last putting the Bulldogs ahead 30-13 with a little more than six minutes to go in the first half.
LSU responded with its first sustained run of the game, a 7-0 spurt capped by Stringer’s 3, which cut its deficit to 10. The teams then traded baskets several times, and the Bulldogs still led by 12 when Moultrie dropped in a graceful one-handed floater from the baseline.
Malcolm White then hit a tough turnaround jumper for LSU, and Turner drained a 3 as time expired to pull LSU to 36-29 at halftime.
Read more in Wednesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.