BATON ROUGE, La. - Phil Turner's 25-foot 3-point jump shot with seven seconds remaining lifted the Mississippi State men's basketball team past LSU 60-59 in Southeastern Conference basketball action Saturday afternoon in the Maravich Assembly Center.
The Bulldogs won their second league road game and first since a 80-75 win over Ole Miss on Jan. 6. MSU also kept the pressure on Western Division-leading Arkansas, closing within half-a-game of the Razorbacks. MSU is now 19-8 overall and 7-5 in league play, while LSU fell to 9-17 and 0-12.
After a sluggish first half, the Bulldogs recorded their third win in the last four meetings on this floor by shooting 50 percent in the game's final half. The defensive effort remained solid with Jarvis Varnado leading the way with seven blocked shots.
The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year now stands seven blocked shots away from tying the all-time mark for blocked shots in a career. Also of note from Saturday, Barry Stewart's only successful 3-point attempt Saturday matched Daryl Wilson at 258 for the school's all-time record from 3-point land.
After a sluggish first half, the Bulldogs actually held a 24-20 lead. MSU led 6-5 more than nine minutes into the opening half. Back-to-back 3-point baskets by Dee Bost started an 8-0 run as the Bulldogs grabbed a 16-11 lead. The Bulldogs led 21-14 before a 6-0 run brought the hosts within one. Ravern Johnson rammed home a 3-point basket as the half expired.
In the second half, the Bulldogs appear poised to take control. The Maroon and White grabbed a 33-27 advantage with another Johnson 3-point basket. LSU quickly recovered and the lead changed hands a couple of times before another mini-MSU run.
A Johnson 3-point basket placed the Bulldogs on top 50-44 with 6:26 remaining. A Turner 3-point basket expanded that lead to seven at 53-46. LSU then mounted its finally rally, actually grabbing the lead on a 3-point basket by Tasmin Mitchell. That trey made it 59-57 LSU with 16 seconds remaining.
The Bulldogs got the answer from Turner prior to LSU's desperation heave from midcourt missing the mark.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 22 of 50 shots from the field (44.0 percent), 10 of 29 shots from 3-point range (34.5 percent) and 6 of 6 shots from the foul line (100 percent). The Tigers hit 23 of 63 shots from the field (36.5 percent), 7 of 19 shots from 3-point range (36.8 percent) and 6 of 9 shots from 3-point range (66.7 percent).
LSU held a 36-33 rebounding advantage. MSU had 16 assists and 14 turnovers, while LSU had 15 assists and nine turnovers.
Johnson led the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Varnado added 14 points. Varnado had a team-high six rebounds, as did Dee Bost. Bost had a team-high nine assists while scoring eight points.
Mitchell poured in a game-high 25 points for LSU. Mitchell also had a game-high nine rebounds. Storm Warren added 14 points, while Dennis Harris scored 10 points.
The Bulldogs host Alabama in an 8 p.m. start Wednesday. That contest will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast from the Humphrey Coliseum.