Mississippi State tops LSU to advance to SEC quarterfinals
Lamar Peters scored 24 points, and No. 7 seed Mississippi State held off No. 10 seed LSU 80-77 in the second round of the SEC tournament Thursday night in St. Louis.
The Bulldogs (22-10) will face second-seeded Tennessee in the quarterfinals Friday. The Tigers, who had beaten Mississippi State 78-57 in the regular-season finale for both teams last Saturday in Baton Rouge, La., fell to 17-14.
Quinndary Weatherspoon and Nick Weatherspoon scored 15 points each for the Bulldogs. Aric Holman had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
SEC All-Freshman point guard Tremont Waters, who played with a plastic mask on his face to protect a broken nose suffered in practice Monday, scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Tigers. Daryl Edwards scored 11 and Brandon Rachal had 10.
Waters scored LSU's first five points of the second half and the Tigers quickly reduced a 16-point halftime deficit to 10.
MSU extended the lead to 56-42 before Edwards scored nine points to help LSU get within 66-62.
The Tigers got within two points before Peters' season-high fifth 3-pointer and a layup by Nick Weatherspoon gave the Bulldogs a 73-66 lead with five minutes remaining.
LSU went scoreless for three minutes before Skylar Mays' layup ended the drought and cut the deficit to 73-68 with 2:56 left.
Both teams made a free throw before Nick Weatherspoon made two free throws to give MSU a 76-69 lead with 1:34 left.
After a Waters layup, Holman made two free throws to give the Bulldogs a seven-point lead with 34 seconds left.
Mays made a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left and Rachal stole the ball from Peters, leading to Waters' 3-pointer that cut MSU's lead to 78-77 with nine seconds left.
The Bulldogs broke the press and Peters fed Nick Weatherspoon for a dunk with one second left. Rachal's desperation 3-pointer missed.
Peters made three 3-pointers and Nick Weatherspoon made one as MSU jumped to an 18-8 lead.
Waters answered with two 3-pointers and Brandon Sampson made one as LSU got within 22-18.
Peters made another 3-pointer and the Bulldogs rebuilt the lead to 33-21.
After Sampson made two free throws, Tyson Carter made a 3-pointer and Holman added two 3-pointers as MSU took a 45-29 halftime lead.
--Field Level Media
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