LSU (15-8,6-6) defeated Mississippi State (7-17,2-10) handily Saturday 80-68. The score may not show dominance, but dominance is what occurred. LSU shot a blazing 54.5% from both three point and two point range on a night that it seemed like the basket was 5 feet wide. Charles Carmouche led the Tigers with 21 points on 8 of 11 shooting, including 5 of 8 from three point range. Johnny O'Bryant was two assists away from being the third ever triple double candidate in LSU history (Pete Maravich and Shaq O'Niel) with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Andrew Del Piero had a new career high with 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting, and both walkons (Joshua Badeaux and Mychal Williams) got to play their first SEC minute in their career.
The team had a season high 24 assists on their 30 baskets in the game and only committed 10 turnovers (2nd fewest). They out-rebounded the Bulldogs 36-24, and truly controlled the paint the entire game. LSU's bench was able to score 32 points to Mississippi State's 12 and scored 11 2nd chance points to State's 7. LSU's five blocks also tied the teams SEC high set against Florida. Defensively, LSU did not need to put a ton of pressure on the Bulldogs and only came out with five steals. They let Mississippi State shoot 46% from the field, but they never allowed Mississippi State to lead. Image: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XqBm6Y4V8WQ/USIll2P2_CI/AAAAAAAAA_U/Tj4erW2FQQ8/s1600/SoS+post+Miss+St+v2.png
Just how good was LSU this weekend? Well, it was their best team SoS performance of the year. The best part was, everyone contributed. LSU had seven players get over 40 in Adjusted SoS and Charles Carmouche's 61.19 was one of the best performances LSU has had in SEC play. Johnny O'Bryant's 48.05 Unadjusted SoS almost matched his amazing 30 point, 10 rebound performance he had against South Carolina. He had an impressive 8 assist, 2 turnover game. His passing has gotten better with each passing game and opposing teams are having to respect his passing by not double teaming him.
But it didn't stop at just those two. Andrew Del Piero's 13 points were impressive. He was a defensive asset throughout the game, but his presence down low offensively was an even better contribution. Hickey (10) and Stringer (10) also had double digit scoring. Anthony Hickey had a very impressive 6 assist 1 turnover game and two of LSU's 5 steals. Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-M8EBAu0SsyU/USIqDZjxwHI/AAAAAAAABAI/7R1AxdmxbYk/s1600/Standings+2.17.png
This weekends SEC scores:
Miss St 62 @ LSU 80
Kentucky 58 @ Tenn 88
aTm 56 @ Vandy 63
SCar 58 @ Alabama 68
Mizz 71 @ Ark 73
UGA 74 @ Ole Miss 84 OT
Florida 83 @ Aub 52
With the win, LSU moved within one game of 5th place in the SEC. They are amazingly only two games out of third. Note: LSU lost to South Carolina and Auburn early in the SEC schedule. LSU's Tuesday night opponent Tennessee really crushed Nerlens-less Kentucky at home and will come into our game with a ton of confidence.LSU should be going into Tennessee with enough confidence to make it interesting as well. Arkansas' win over Missouri brings LSU to within one game of both of those teams, with meetings with each of them still to go. LSU has now won five of their last six and two of their last three road games. If LSU could get one more this week against Tennessee, they could be sitting in 5th or 6th place by middle of the week.
I'll have my pregame write-up on Tennessee out later today. Remember it is the early Tuesday game (SEC normally has 1 Tuesday game, 1 Thursday game and the rest on Wednesday). It will conclude a stretch where LSU will play three times in six days, two of which are on the road. LSU is 2-0 so far during the stretch with the Tennessee game being vital to LSU's SEC Tournament seeding.
Current SEC Tournament Bracket (If season ended today): Image: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-D-RkTvGQI3k/USJOvanjv3I/AAAAAAAABA8/9Gr8thcAB-8/s1600/Tournament+Bracket+2.18.png
Pictures from the game can be found HERE
This post was edited on 2/18 at 10:14 am