|SUNDAY MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
|Mississippi State 65, Loyola (Ill.) 64 (OT)
|LSU 70, Butler 68 (OT)
|Kentucky 79, Providence 65
Bulldogs Upend Loyola In Overtime, 65-64
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The dynamic duo of Craig Sword outside and Roquez Johnson inside lifted Mississippi State to a 65-64 overtime win against Loyola Sunday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.
The teams were playing the “Game of Change” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the two schools’ historic meeting in the 1963 NCAA Tournament. It was MSU’s first-ever athletic competition against segregated opposition. In honor of the anniversary of this special occasion, the teams played last year in Illinois and then again Sunday in Starkville.
MSU improved to 5-1 overall with its second-straight win and first win against Loyola. The Ramblers fell to 3-5. The Bulldogs conclude a three-game homestand with TCU Thursday night in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
“This is really good that this game happened,” MSU coach Rick Ray said. “When I first got contacted about playing this game, I really didn’t know much about what had happened. Mississippi has some negative conations, so to see something special like this is really great.”
“As far as Mississippi State goes, overtime was good to us this week.”
The basketball Bulldogs were on hardwood four days after Thanksgiving weekend opened with MSU defeating arch-rival Ole Miss in overtime in the final regular season football game for both teams.
Sunday’s basketball contest was nip-and-tuck throughout. The score was tied 13 times and the lead changed hands 20 times. The largest lead for Loyola was seven points in the first half and the largest lead for MSU was six points in the second half.
Sword scored 24 points – one shy of his career high – to lead the Bulldogs’ offensive efforts. With leading scorer Gavin Ware held scoreless, Johnson poured in a career-high 20 points.
“Craig really does so many things well on both ends of the floor,” Ray said. “His decision making is really good once he gets to the rim now. We knew we had to get some points inside. We thought we would get them from either Gavin (Ware) or Colin (Borchert), but we didn’t. Instead, Roquez was really good. He was a dominating force at finding a way to get to the rim.”
The Bulldogs won their second straight decision at the final horn, with the win coming on the heels of 58-56 decision over Jackson State.
“(Winning close games) is great for us,” Sword said. “We have a full roster now, so we are just going to compete. We are going to do what we do every day in practice. We play with a lot of confidence and we feel like somebody is going to make plays.”
The Bulldogs struggled out of the gates early offensively. MSU held a 9-8 lead before Loyola reeled off a 10-2 run for an 18-11 lead.
MSU battled back on top at 23-22 on a free throw by Sword. The lead would grow to 27-24 on two free throws by Johnson. Loyola then battled back for a 29-all tie at halftime.
In the second half, Loyola led 38-33 before MSU answered with an 11-0 run. Tyson Cunningham hit back-to-back 3-point baskets to spark the run. The lead stood at 44-38 on a Sword layup with 12:10 left in the contest.
The lead went back and forth a few more times before Milton Doyle hit a 3-pointer for Loyola to tie the contest at 56 with 1:09 left in the contest.
Loyola built a four-point lead in overtime at 60-56. A dunk by Sword capped a 5-0 run as MSU grabbed a 61-60 lead. A 9-2 run by MSU ran the lead to 65-62 with 54 seconds left in the overtime. From there, the Bulldogs held on as the Ramblers missed an off-balanced 3-pointer as the horn sounded.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 22 of 47 shots from the field (46.8 percent), 4 of 16 shots from 3-point range (25.0 percent) and 17 of 28 shots from the foul line (60.7 percent). The Ramblers hit 23 of 54 shots from the field (42.6 percent), 6 of 19 shots from 3-point range (31.6 percent) and 12 of 14 shots from the foul line (85.7 percent).
Loyola held a 35-27 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 10 assists and a season-low nine turnovers, while the Ramblers had 12 assists and 14 turnovers.
Johnson posted his first double-double of the season by adding a team-high 11 rebounds.
Loyola received 22 points from Milton Doyle, 12 points from Christian Thomas and 10 points from Devon Turk.
LSU Men's Hoops Tops Butler in OT, 70-68
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Anthony Hickey buried a deep three-pointer with 4.4 seconds remaining to force overtime, and the LSU basketball team emerged with a 70-68 victory over Butler Sunday during the third place game of Old Spice Classic.
For Hickey, the triple from just right of the top of the key was his lone basket of the game. He got the look at the game-tying shot off a feed from Andre Stringer out of a double team. It was one of Stringer’s game-leading five assists.
All square at 65-65 in overtime, Stringer gave the Tigers the lead for good on a mid-range jumper with the shot clock expiring at the 2:40 mark.
On LSU’s next possession, Johnny O’Bryant III hit a key turnaround jumper and then hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 10 seconds left to give LSU a 70-66 edge.
Butler (5-2) hit two free throws with 4.3 seconds to go, but Hickey broke away from a steal attempt in the closing seconds. He passed the ball ahead to O’Bryant III in the frontcourt, who dribbled out the remaining time off the clock.
The Tigers (5-2) erased a six-point deficit over the final four minutes of regulation and have won four of their last six overtime decisions going back to the 2011-12 season.
O’Bryant III was one of five LSU players to amass double figures. He worked his way to a team-leading 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He also provided eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. The eight rebounds enabled O’Bryant III to surpass John Williams (1984-86) for 35th place on LSU’s all-time list.
Shavon Coleman and Malik Morgan picked up 12 points apiece to give LSU a 24-0 scoring edge in bench points. For Morgan, the 12 points matched a career-high. He also turned in seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. Coleman has reached double figures in three of his last five outings.
Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey chipped in 12 points each and hauled in a combined 13 rebounds. The duo tallied 18 of its 24 points during the second half and overtime on a combined 10-for-22 shooting effort. They played a major role in LSU scoring 38 of the game’s 50 points in the paint.
Four of Butler’s five starters recorded double figures headed by Kellen Dunham’s game-high 20 points. The sophomore guard had to take 21 shots to reach his point total. Khyle Marshall tacked on 17 points and nine rebounds, while Kameron Woods came away with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
LSU was 29-of-64 from the field (45.3 percent) which included a 5-for-14 three-point effort (35.7 percent). The Tigers were 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) at the foul line.
Nine of Butler’s 22 field goals came from three-point territory. The Bulldogs were 22-of-65 shooting (33.8 percent) and 15-of-20 (80.0 percent) from the free throw line. Butler also held a 48-36 rebounding advantage highlighted by 18 offensive boards.
Marshall ripped off six early points to give Butler a 14-6 lead at the 12:03 mark of the first half.
LSU fired back with 16 of the next 20 points and held the Bulldogs to a pair of field goals over the next 8:15. Morgan ignited the spurt with consecutive three-pointers and gave the Tigers a 22-18 advantage on a driving layup with 3:48 remaining.
Butler came back to take a 27-26 halftime edge capped by back-to-back Dunham triples over the stanza’s final 70 seconds.
The Bulldogs kept the momentum and took a 36-30 lead with 16:35 left as Dunham and Marshall combined for six of Butler’s first nine points of the second half.
LSU turned to Coleman who ripped off seven points in a 74-second span. A Mickey hook shot and Martin dunk off a steal put the Tigers back ahead 41-38 with 13:45 to go.
With the score tied at 44-44, Dunham added six more points to lead a 9-2 Butler spurt and give the Bulldogs a 53-46 advantage at the 6:31 mark.
Down 56-50, LSU rallied with a Morgan putback, a Martin dunk and an O’Bryant jumper in traffic to knot the score at 56-56 with 2:31 remaining.
Butler’s Alex Barlow hit a three-ball with 1:22 on the clock to put the Bulldogs back ahead 59-56. The Bulldogs maintained its three-point edge at 61-58 after Erik Fromm hit two free throws with 12.5 seconds on the clock.
Hickey provided the equalizer out of LSU’s final timeout, and Barlow’s three-pointer at the buzzer rimmed in-and-out to send the game to overtime.
LSU returns to action after a 13-day final exam break on Saturday, Dec. 14 as Louisiana-Monroe visits the Maravich Center. Tip time is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will carried by Cox Sports Television.
The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge and inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger basketball, visit www.lsusports.net/basketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsubasketball along with @lsubasketball and @lsucoachjones on Twitter.
No. 3 Wildcats Hold Off Providence, 79-65
BROOKLYN, NY -- Willie Cauley-Stein flirted with a triple-double - finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds and a career-high nine blocks - to lead No. 3 Kentucky past Providence on Sunday night, 79-65.
Freshman James Young led the Wildcats in scoring, putting up a team-high 18 points, including a trio of 3-pointers at Barclays Center.
Julius Randle's season-long streak of double-doubles came to an end, as the freshman phenom finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
The game was tight throughout the first half, and Kentucky led by only four points at the break, 39-35.
At the start of the second half, Providence pulled to within one at 39-38. But the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run spurred by the play of Cauley-Stein who had six points, three rebounds and a pair of blocks in the spurt.
Kentucky will remain on the road for another neutral contest on Friday, Dec. 6 in Arlington, Texas. UK's men's and women's squads will play a doubleheader vs. Baylor in AT&T Stadium.