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SEC MEN'S TOURNAMENT - 2ND ROUND - Scottrade Center - St. Louis, MO

Peters leads Bulldogs past Tigers 80-77

281 days ago
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- With 34 seconds left, Mississippi State extended its lead to 78-71, and it looked as if the Bulldogs were going to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

But as time wound down, those hopes faded as LSU's Skylar Mays hit a 3-pointer and the Bulldogs turned it over on the ensuing possession. With 10 seconds left, Tremont Waters drilled a 3 and the Tigers closed to 78-77.

The Bulldogs avoided foul attempts on the inbound and Nick Weatherspoon capped the victory with a dunk.

Lamar Peters scored a season-high 24 points and Mississippi State hit 10 3-pointers in defeating LSU 80-77 in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday.

Peters led an unlikely charge from 3 for the seventh-seeded Bulldogs, who came into the contest the 15th-worst team at 30.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Mississippi State (22-10), which faces Tennessee in Friday's third quarterfinal, shot 9 of 12 from 3 in the first half and finished the game 10 for 17.

"I swear to you that I'm not surprised," Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. "If you look back at those threes, a lot of them were pretty open. Their strategy is to go under the ball screen and make you make shots."

Tenth-seeded LSU (17-14) trimmed a once 19-point Bulldogs' lead to just two with 5:52 remaining. The game stayed close until the end, but the Tigers never led.

Tremont Waters led LSU with 28 points and six assists. He sustained an injury in the final minutes but battled through till the end of the game.

"That's what we get pretty much every night from him," LSU coach Will Wade said. "(He's) the only reason we're in a lot of games."

Waters and Peters went back and forth all game, but Peters' teammates scored more down the stretch. Quinndary Weatherspoon and his brother, Nick, each finished with 15 points for the Bulldogs. Aric Holman posted a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 boards.