BATON ROUGE, La. — Mississippi State’s offense ventured into unfamiliar territory Saturday afternoon, running and gunning its way to a 95-78 win over a hapless LSU defense. The 95 points are a season-high for the Bulldogs, who crossed the 90-point barrier for the first time since beating Northern Colorado 93-69 on Dec. 23, 2015.
The Bulldogs (10-4, 1-1 SEC) jumped to a 52-33 halftime lead, their largest first-half output all season. The Bulldogs came in averaging 72 points per game, a total they were able to reach midway through the second half.
Getting to Baton Rouge proved to be a far greater challenge for the Bulldogs than beating the Tigers. Mississippi State’s plane was grounded due to ice, forcing the team to bus its way to LSU. Along that precarious road, the team made headlines by helping a woman out of her vehicle after it flipped into a ditch.
Player of the game: I.J. Ready
Ready was ready to bounce back after being taken out of the starting lineup for the first time this season.
The diminutive point guard came off the bench and had one of his better games, scoring 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting (including 3 of 4 from 3-point range) while dishing out 8 assists and grabbing a season-high 6 rebounds.
Stat of the game: 25 points off 14 turnovers
Both teams turned the ball over the same number of times, but only the Bulldogs were able to make something of it. Mississippi State outscored LSU by 15 points off turnovers.
The key was State’s ability to get the transition game going. The Bulldogs had a distinct 14-2 edge in fast-break points.
It was close for most of the first half before State pulled away in convincing fashion. The Dogs went on a 13-4 run over a near four-minute span that led to a 37-27 lead at the final media timeout of the first half. State wasn’t nearly done from there, closing the half on a 15-6 spurt that put the Tigers down on the mat for good.
What’s next for Mississippi State basketball?
The Bulldogs continue their adventurous road trip with a visit to Arkansas on Tuesday. The game will be televised at 9 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The Razorbacks are 9-1 at Bud Walton Arena this year, with the lone loss coming to Florida.
Mississippi State vs. LSU box score