By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – A mixup at the end of the game cost Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs had just taken a one-point lead on LSU with 7.9 seconds to go, and then coach Rick Ray called a timeout to set his defense. The goal was to keep LSU point guard Anthony Hickey out of the lane, but the Bulldogs couldn’t do it.
Hickey drove the length of the court and hit a layup with 1.5 seconds left to lift the Tigers to a 69-68 victory.
“Roquez (Johnson) is supposed to be the shadow guy to kind of keep him from getting loose, and Trivante (Bloodman) is supposed to be in front of him,” Ray said, “and I think they kind of got crossways when he crossed (half) court.
“Hickey’s a good player and made two plays at the end that won the ball game for them.”
The full-court press gave MSU trouble again on Saturday. LSU went to it heavily after halftime.
MSU committed nine of its 17 turnovers over the final 20 minutes.
Ray said his team has to find the “medium” between attacking the press and taking care of the ball.
“We can’t find that medium right now, and a lot has to do with we have zero experience in that backcourt besides Jalen (Steele).”
Player of the game
Ware scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds.
“This one right here hurts.” – MSU coach Rick Ray
MSU is back on the road Wednesday to take on arch-rival Ole Miss (8 p.m., CSS).