Two freshmen help LSU score 6th consecutive SEC home victory and highest point total of season; Sword finishes with 33 for MSU
BATON ROUGE -- Freshmen Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey combined for 39 points to lead LSU to a 92-81 Southeastern Conference victory against Mississippi State on Wednesday.
Martin, who was 8-of-11 from the field, scored a season-high 20 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds, which matched his highest total in an SEC game. Mickey, who made a season-high 11 foul shots, finished with 19 points.
Three other players scored in double figures for LSU (16-9, 7-6), which never trailed in the game. Shavon Coleman scored 18 points, while Andre Stringer had 14 and Anthony Hickey 13. The 92 points were a season-high for the Tigers, who have won six straight league games at home.
Craig Sword had a career-high 33 points for Mississippi State (13-13, 3-10), which has lost eight games in a row. Gavin Ware had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Trivante Bloodman and Roquez Johnson each had 11 points for the Bulldogs.
LSU took control of the game at the outset with a 14-0 run. State missed its first three field goals and committed five turnovers, which led to nine Tigers points. Hickey got the scoring going for LSU with a 3-pointer.
Johnny O'Bryant made two foul shots and a field goal, while Mickey converted a three-point play. The Bulldogs' first point came on a foul shot by Fred Thomas with 16 minutes remaining in the first half.
State, which trailed by 20 points, cut its deficit to six at 26-20 with 7:28 remaining in the half. Sword scored eight points and I.J. Ready made three field goals as the Bulldogs outscored LSU 16-2.
However, the Tigers extended their advantage back to double figures by the end of the half. Two 3-pointers by Hickey started the outburst and the Tigers took a 42-31 lead into halftime.
State trimmed the LSU lead to seven points inside the first three minutes of the second half.
"We spotted them 14 points to start the game," State coach Rick Ray said. "Our guys just can't beat a quality team at their place when we get off to that bad of a start. The thing I was pleased with was that the guys we brought in fought."
The Tigers made a 12-4 run and were on top 59-44 with 14:42 remaining. State trailed by at least 10 points the rest of the game.