Miss. State, LSU win in overtime

Published 12:06 am Monday, December 2, 2013

STARKVILLE (AP) — Mississippi State’s Craig Sword and Roquez Johnson combined for 44 points as the Bulldogs held off Loyola 65-64 in overtime Sunday.

Sword had a game-high 24 points and put MSU (5-1) in front for good with an old-fashioned three-point play with 1:36 left in overtime. Johnson had a career-best 20 points and also his first double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.

Sword was 8-of-12 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.

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“We take our hats off to Loyola for a hard-fought game,” said Sword. “But all we kept thinking is we lost to them last year and I didn’t want them coming in here and winning again.

“Coach told us to be patient tonight and let our offense come to us. They played off of me so I just drove it every time and everything opens up when you drive the ball.”

Johnson and Sword are also former high school teammates and played at Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala.

“I think you guys can see why we keep going to Montgomery, Ala., and Carver High School and recruiting,” said Ray. “Between those two guys, they gave us 44 points. That’s always a good thing.

“First of all, when Roquez plays with that much energy he is always a huge help. Then when he is going to score like that, it’s always an added bonus.”

MSU shot 46.8 percent from the floor and was just 4 of 16 beyond the arc. Loyola shot 42.6 percent and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 35-27.

Loyola (3-5) was led by Milton Doyle’s 22 points. Christian Thomas had 12 points for the Ramblers while Devon Turk added 10 points.

Doyle had an opportunity to win it at the buzzer for Loyola but his 3-point attempt at the buzzer was blocked by MSU’s Fred Thomas.

On the possession before, Thomas left the door open for Loyola after he missed a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left in overtime.

“Fred was mad after missing those free throws,” said Sword. “So he told me he had to make it up on defense, and wasn’t going to let his guy score.”

The contest was just the third overall meeting between the two schools with the first game coming in the historic 1963 NCAA Tournament. The Ramblers won last year’s meeting 59-51 in what was the 50th anniversary of that initial meeting between the two programs.

MSU and Loyola were tied at 29-29 at halftime despite the Bulldogs shooting 38 percent. Loyola shot 50 percent in the first half and led MSU in rebounding 15-13 but had eight first-half turnovers.

The game was tied 13 times and featured 20 lead changes.

LSU 70, Butler 68

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Johnny O’Bryant III scored 17 points as LSU beat Butler 70-68 in overtime Sunday to capture third place at the Old Spice Classic.

Andre Stringer, averaging 15.5 points a game, got his first points on a jumper that put LSU (5-2) up 67-65 with 2:40 left in OT. After a Butler free throw, O’Bryant made it 69-66 on a jumper with just under 2 minutes left.

O’Bryant extended the lead to 70-66 with a late free throw.

“We knew coming in it would be a hard-fought battle against a team with a great tradition,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “I thought our guys did a great job playing through it all. Finishing the game strong. I’m really excited about how these guys performed today.”

Anthony Hickey got LSU into overtime by tying it at 61-all on a trey in the final seconds of the regulation. It was his only basket.

“I really don’t look at numbers,” Hickey said. “I just do whatever it takes to win.”

LSU also got 12 points from Jarell Martin, Jordan Mickey, Shavon Coleman and Malik Morgan.

Kellen Dunham had 20 points for Butler (5-2). The sophomore guard had a tourney record 32 points in Thursday’s 76-69 win over Washington State, but was held to 9 points one day later in a 69-67 loss to No. 5 Oklahoma State.

“When you play in close games, there’s a lot of things that can happen at the end of the game,” Butler coach Brandon Miller said. “Sometimes the other team executes and makes shots. I thought the last two games there were some things that we can control that didn’t happen our way, and I think there were some things that we can’t control that didn’t happen our way.

“I do think as we move forward, being in close games like we’ve been in will help us. Now in saying that, they help you if you can learn from them. If you can learn from your mistakes, you learn from your experiences, and we continue to get better.”

LSU pulled even at 56-56 with 2:11 remaining after Martin had a rebound slam and O’Bryant made a short jumper.

Dunham had 11 points, including a pair of long-range jumpers during the final 70 seconds, as Butler grabbed a 27-26 halftime lead.

“It’s not fun to lose,” Barlow said. “The guys took it pretty hard. It just shows how close we are to beating good teams like LSU and Oklahoma State.”

Elijah Brown was one of three Butler players that didn’t play due to what Miller said was a coach’s decision.