February 5, 2011 9:43:00 PM
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Dee Bost didn''t have one of his better afternoons Saturday in the Mississippi State men''s basketball team''s 58-57 victory against LSU.
But Bost made the necessary plays to give the Bulldogs a much-needed victory.
First, Bost connected on the two winning free throws just inside the two-minute mark. Then, Bost saved the victory by stripping the ball from Andre Stringer on the last possession.
"On that last possession, I knew it was crunch time," said Bost, who missed the last two days of practice with a strained right Achilles'' heel. "I just stayed down in my stance and played defense. We were in a slump. It''s always good to win on the road."
Stringer broke the 15th tie of the game with a 3-pointer to put LSU in front 57-54 with 3 minutes, 21 seconds remaining. MSU then moved ahead on a put-back basket by Kodi Augustus and two free throws by Bost.
The Tigers never got a shot off after Bost''s two foul shots with 1:59 remaining in the game. One LSU possession ended with a turnover by Ralston Turner. After a steal by Stringer, the Tigers lost the ball on a turnover by Malcolm White.
LSU had one final chance after White rebounded a missed shot by Bost with 10 seconds remaining. Once again, the Tigers never got a shot up as Bost prevented Stringer from getting up the ball to the basket.
"I was real leery of going with an on-ball screen on the last possession," LSU coach Trent Johnson said. "We put the ball in Andre''s hands. He had done a good job getting the ball into the lane. It was the best thing we could do. Dee did a good job."
Despite being bothered by the heel injury, Bost still played 36 minutes. He missed nine of his 11 field-goal attempts. Bost had made only 2 of 5 foul shots before sinking the pair at the end of the game. He also committed five turnovers with just two assists.
Renardo Sidney led the Bulldogs (12-10, 4-4) with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Riley Benock added 12 points, while Augustus had 10. MSU played without Ravern Johnson, a 17.7 scorer, who was suspended by coach Rick Stansbury on Friday.
"Not until we went through shoot-around this morning did we know Dee was going to start," Stansbury said. "It''s obvious watching he wasn''t himself today. He missed a lot of shots, but he found a way to get it done."
Stringer was the leading scorer for LSU (10-13, 2-6) with 15 points. Aaron Dotson contributed 10 points for the Tigers, who lost their sixth game in a row.
LSU took a three-point advantage into halftime on the strength of a 7-0 run. MSU broke a 26-26 tie on a 3-pointer by Benock with 3:30 remaining in the half. Baskets by Turner and Dotson put the Tigers in front by one point.
Eddie Ludwig then sank three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt late in the shot clock. Bost made 1 of 2 free throws with five seconds remaining to leave the Bulldogs behind 33-30 at halftime.
LSU''s biggest lead in the opening half was six points at 17-11 after Turner connected on a 3-pointer with 12:54 left. MSU then outscored LSU 13-2 to take its largest advantage at five points.
Eight of those 13 Bulldogs points came from reserves -- 3-pointers by Shaun Smith and Jalen Steele and a field goal by Brian Bryant. A 3-pointer by Benock gave MSU a 24-19 lead with 7:49 remaining in the half.
It took the Bulldogs slightly more than two minutes into the second half to go out in front. A three-point play by Sidney tied the score at 33. A 3-pointer by Bost gave MSU a 37-35 lead with 17:56 remaining in the game.
The game remained close over the next 14 minutes, with neither team building more than a two-point lead during that stretch. The score was tied eight times in that span.
2. McCowan's career night pushes MSU to Elite Eight COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU baseball takes SEC series opener from Tennessee COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU powers way past Washington to reach Elite Elight COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Washington and Shelton continue to dominate LOCAL SPORTS