|6:00 ET, Mar 4, 2017
Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Mississippi Attendance: 6,739
Mississippi State tops LSU to snap 7-game skid
By PAUL JONES
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Quinndary Weatherspoon had 18 points as Mississippi State snapped a seven-game losing streak with an 88-76 win over LSU on Saturday.
Weatherspoon was 8 of 11 from the field and led a balanced scoring attack for the Bulldogs. Aric Holman and Xavian Stapleton each had 14 points for Mississippi State (15-15 overall, 6-12 SEC) in the regular-season finale.
The 15 wins mark the most by Mississippi State since the 2011-12 season.
"Happy we got the win and that was sorely needed after the long losing streak," said Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland. "I can't remember if I've ever been part of seven losses in a row so that is a monkey off our back.
"It was great to see I.J. Ready go out like that and I thought Xavian Stapleton gave us great minutes off the bench."
As Mississippi State's lone senior honored on Senior Day, Ready had a career-high 13 assists. The 13 assists are the most by an SEC player this year.
"This means a lot," said Ready. "We've had a lot of ups and downs so to come out with a win on Senior Night, it means a lot to me. I'm glad everyone is positive about this team and the rest of my teammates said they are not going to let me go out with another losing season. To hear them say that, I appreciate it and it boosted me up even more tonight."
Skylar Mays and Antonio Blakeney had 15 points apiece to lead LSU (10-20, 2-16) and pace five Tigers in double digits. Brandon Sampson had 14 for LSU while Duop Reath and Aaron Epps had 12 and 10 points, respectively.
LSU shot 44.1 percent for the game and were outrebounded 39-32. The Tigers made just 5 of 19 beyond the arc and had 11 turnovers.
"I thought Mississippi State did a good job of getting off to a good start in the first half," said LSU head coach Johnny Jones. "I didn't think we were great on either end in the first half. In the second half we wanted to establish ourselves, defensively, and we got it going. But we put ourselves in too big of a hole. You can't do that to a team that has the ability to make shots in the open floor."
Mississippi State shot 54.5 percent and had an SEC-high 21 assists as a team. The Bulldogs also held a decisive 52-38 advantage with points in the paint and had 20 second-chance points.
Both teams traded the lead in the opening minutes before Mississippi State grabbed control midway through the first half. The Bulldogs led 21-11 after an Eli Wright 3-pointer and maintained a double-digit lead for most of the first half.
Tyson Carter drained a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer and the Bulldogs led 48-30 at halftime. The Bulldogs shot 57 percent in the first half and LSU struggled at 37 percent.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs entered the regular-season finale on a seven-game losing streak, the longest under Ben Howland.
LSU: Earlier this week the Tigers snapped a school-record 15-game losing streak with a win over Tennessee. But now the Tigers enter the SEC tournament having lost 16 of their previous 17 league games.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs open the SEC tournament Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. They'll face LSU for the third time this season.
LSU: The Tigers get Mississippi State again in four days and face the Bulldogs in the first round of the SEC tournament Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.
Updated March 4, 2017