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SEC MEN'S TOURNAMENT - 1ST ROUND - Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tennessee

Mississippi State pulls away from LSU in Game 1

165 days ago
Associated Press

Game Notes | Mississippi State Quotes | LSU Quotes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 19 points, and 12th-seeded Mississippi State defeated 13th-seeded LSU 79-52 Wednesday night in the opening game of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Mississippi State now has won two straight for the first time since winning at Arkansas on Jan. 10, then beating Texas A&M on Jan. 14. The Bulldogs took advantage of playing LSU for the second time in five days, and they also snapped a three-game skid in the league tournament with their first win since their opening game in 2014 over Vanderbilt.

Reserve Tyson Carter added 18 points for the Bulldogs. Xavian Stapleton had 13, and Lamar Peters 10.

Skylar Mays led LSU with 13 points, and Antonio Blakeney had 11.

Mississippi State jumped out to a big halftime lead just as the Bulldogs did in sweeping the regular season series between the teams.

LSU led 8-2 as the Bulldogs missed their first five shots. Then Mississippi State got going with Carter knocking down back-to-back 3s as they swapped the lead four times with seven ties. LSU took its last lead at 25-24 on a jumper by Branden Jenkins with 5:25 left.

The Tigers didn't score again until the second half. Weatherspoon stole the ball and dunked with 4:43 left to put Mississippi State ahead to stay, the first of 13 straight points to end the half with a 37-25 halftime lead.

Mays hit a jumper in the opening seconds of the second half to end the scoring drought for LSU. The Tigers never got closer than four, the last at 41-37 on a bucket by Mays with 16:34 left. Peters answered with a 3 as Mississippi State pushed the lead back to as much as 29 in the final minute.

Mississippi State faces No. 5 seed Alabama in the second round of the tournament Thursday on SEC Network. The Mississippi State-Alabama matchup will begin 25 minutes after the conclusion of Game 3, which tips off at 1 p.m. ET.