Thursday , Feb , 12 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Bulldogs outlast South Carolina in overtime

Columbia, SC (Sports Network) – Lawrence Roberts poured in 20 points to lead
the sixth-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs to a thrilling 79-75 overtime
victory over 25th-ranked South Carolina at the Colonial Center.

Timmy Bowers, who scored 13 points in the win, hit a three-pointer with seven
seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 71-71 and send it into overtime.
Brandon Vincent posted a double-double with 13 points and 18 rebounds, while
Winsome Frazier chipped in 15 points, as the Bulldogs (20-1, 9-1 SEC) won
their seventh straight contest. Shane Power added 14 points.

“We have a lot of weapons and unbelievable toughness,” Mississippi State head
coach Rick Stansbury said. “We played four guys tonight who had over 40
minutes and that shows you what our team is made of.”

Rolando Howell shot 8-of-12 from the field and scored a game-high 24 points
while pulling down 11 rebounds in defeat. Josh Gonner netted 12 points and
Carlos Powell added 11 for South Carolina (19-5, 6-4), which dropped its
second straight and has lost three of its last four contests.

Mike Boynton’s three-pointer with 2:05 remaining in the overtime put South
Carolina on top 75-73.

However, that was the last basket for the Gamecocks, as Mississippi State
closed out the extra period on a 6-0 run to set the final margin. Roberts tied
it with a layup and Vincent’s free throw with 53 seconds remaining put the
Bulldogs on top for good at 76-75.

South Carolina had several opportunities, but all of its shots came up short
and Mississippi State iced it by making three free throws in the final 30

“I am extremely proud of my basketball team,” Stansbury said. “We didn’t shoot
the ball very well, but we battled back and forced overtime and won it from

The Gamecocks went on top 66-54 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation on
a pair of Howell free throws.

Mississippi State didn’t fold and used the next three minutes of the game to
go on a 14-2 run to tie it at 68. Frazier, who scored nine points during the
burst, capped it with the final five points to knot the score.

Powell put South Carolina back up by one on a foul shot with only 53 seconds
remaining. After Mississippi State failed to convert a jumper at the other end
of the court, Howell grabbed the rebound and was fouled immediately. He
converted both of his free throw opportunities to expand the Gamecocks cushion
to three with only 13 ticks left on the clock.

Bowers sent the game into the overtime as he came off a screen and hit a wide
open three from the left wing.

“A big shot by a big player,” South Carolina head coach Dave Odom said. “We
had a 12-point lead with 5 1/2 minutes to go, they went to a half-court trap.
We handled it poorly.”

The first half was tightly contested as the lead never grew larger than five
points and was swapped nine times.

South Carolina grabbed a 9-5 lead three minuets into the contest, but the
Bulldogs responded with an 8-0 spurt, capped by a Power jumper, to take a
four-point edge.

Both squads exchanged baskets before Tre Kelley scored six points during an
8-2 Gamecock run to open a 28-23 edge with 7:11 remaining until halftime. As
they did in the early part of the first half, the Bulldogs answered with six
consecutive points, including a three from Bowers, to take a 29-28 advantage.

Roberts made 1-of-2 free throws with under a minute left to tie it at 32-32,
but Howell threw down a dunk in the closing seconds to give South Carolina a
34-32 lead at the intermission. Howell netted 10 points in the first 20
minutes by making 4-of-5 shots from the floor.

South Carolina found itself trailing 46-42 at the 15:30 mark of the second
half, but the Gamecocks went on a 14-2 run over the next six minutes to take
an eight-point lead at 56-48. Tarence Kinsey netted six points during the
spurt, including the first five.

Mississippi State got it to 56-52, but South Carolina went on a 10-2 run,
highlighted by four points from Howell, to take the 12-point advantage before
the Bulldogs mounted their late comeback.