Thursday , Feb , 26 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Bulldogs rout LSU to clinch SEC West

Starkville, MS (Sports Network) – Lawrence Roberts scored 14 points and
grabbed seven boards to lead seventh-ranked Mississippi State to an easy 84-58
win over LSU at Humphrey Coliseum.

Timmy Bowers and Winsome Frazier each chipped in 13 points for the Bulldogs
(22-2, 11-2 SEC), who rebounded from last Saturday’s home loss to Alabama to
win for the ninth time in their last 10 games.

The win clinched the second straight SEC West Division title for Mississippi
State and the Bulldogs remained one game ahead of Kentucky for the overall
conference lead. The Wildcats also won Wednesday night.

“We have a couple more games left and we have other goals to achieve,” said
Roberts. “We’ve got bigger goals and we just want to stay focused and stay
committed to those goals.”

Darrel Mitchell scored 14 points and Tack Minor contributed 13 for the Tigers
(17-7, 7-6), who have dropped three straight contests.

Mississippi State connected on 56 percent of its shots (32-of-57) and 7-of-16
from three-point range (44 percent). LSU hit just 35 percent of its shot
attempts (35 percent) and 9-of-24 from behind the arc (38 percent).

The Bulldogs began the contest on fire as they hit five of their first six
shots, including all three of their attempts from behind the arc, to build a
double-digit lead.

Mississippi State scored the game’s first seven points and widened the margin
to 15-3 on Shane Power’s three-pointer with 17:02 left in the half. LSU did
get back into the game, though, as it scored nine of the next 11 points, and
pulled within 17-12 with 14:14 left in the first half.

“Everybody came out with a lot of energy,” Bowers said. “We rebounded the ball
well. We limited (Brandon) Bass and (Jaime) Lloreda’s touches down low. We
just pushed the ball up court and got a lot of easy transition hoops.”

Mitchell’s three-pointer moments later brought the Tigers within 23-19, but
that was as close as they would get.

The Bulldogs responded with an 11-0 run, highlighted by four points from
Roberts and three from Bowers, to open up a 34-19 advantage with 8:48
remaining in the opening stanza.

Mississippi State’s cushion grew to 17 points moments later and it carried a
comfortable 46-30 edge into the intermission.

Bowers and Frazier each scored 10 points for the Bulldogs, who made a
blistering 66 percent of their shots (19-of-29). Mitchell had nine points to
pace LSU, which hot just 9-of-27 of its shots in the opening 20 minutes (33

Power’s three-pointer less than four minutes into the second half staked the
Bulldogs to a commanding 54-34 advantage and the cushion ballooned to 63-38
moments later.

LSU never threatened again and did not get any closer than 16 points in the
final minutes of the game.