BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)Skylar Mays hit a jumper from just inside the 3-point line at the buzzer to give LSU a 60-59 victory against Mississippi State in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday.
The Tigers (11-4, 3-0) trailed 53-44 with five minutes remaining in the game. LSU scored seven straight points – five from Emmitt Williams – to trail 53-51 with 3:09 to play. The Tigers took the lead at 57-55 on a 3-pointer by Charles Manning with one minute left in the game.
The Bulldogs (9-6, 0-3) tied the score 10 seconds later when Nick Weatherspoon sank two foul shots. Williams gave the Tigers a 58-57 lead when he made 1 of 2 free throws. Weatherspoon had the chance to put Mississippi State back on top, but he missed two foul shots with eight seconds left.
The Bulldogs kept possession when Williams couldn’t grab the rebound on Weatherspoon’s second missed free throw. Reggie Perry’s layup with four seconds left put Mississippi State on top 59-58. Following a timeout, Mays caught the inbounds pass, dribbled into the front court and made his shot.
Williams was the top scorer for LSU with 17 points. Manning had 15 points, while Mays finished with 11 points. The Tigers shot just 37% from the field and missed 19 of their 21 3-point attempts.
Weatherspoon had 14 points to lead the Bulldogs. Perry had 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Abdul Ado had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Both teams had problems making shots in the opening 20 minutes. Neither team shot better than 40% from the field. Moreover, the teams were a combined 3 of 24 on 3-pointers. Mississippi State committed 11 first-half turnovers which led to 11 LSU points.
The Bulldogs went six minutes without a point and fell behind 12-6 with 11:57 before halftime. The Tigers extended their advantage to 23-12 following baskets by Manning and Mays.
Mississippi State reduced its deficit to three points late in the first half. However, LSU scored the final five points before halftime on field goals by Mays and Manning and a foul shot by Darius Days to go on top 30-22.
Mississippi State: After being beaten by double digits by Auburn and Alabama, the Bulldogs dropped their third straight SEC game in heartbreaking fashion. Mississippi State has lost four of its last five games.
LSU: The Tigers won their second close SEC game of the season. LSU, which has started 3-0 in the conference for a second straight year, beat Arkansas 79-77 last Wednesday.
Mississippi State will start a three-game SEC homestand against Missouri on Tuesday.
LSU will begin a two-game SEC road swing at Texas A&M on Tuesday.
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