Preview: Louisiana State at Mississippi State
After having its 10-game winning streak and perfect record in the Southeastern Conference halted, No. 22 Louisiana State looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the second time this season when it visits No. 21 Mississippi State on Wednesday night. The Tigers dropped a one-point decision to Arkansas to deny their bid for their first 8-0 start in SEC play since 1981.
LSU committed a season-high 21 turnovers in Saturday’s 90-89 setback and coach Will Wade knows his team must play better at Mississippi State, one of three road games in the next four. “They’re a very, very good team and I know the atmosphere will be good Wednesday night,” Wade said. “It will be probably the toughest road game we’ve had to this point. We’re going to need to play very, very, very well.” The Bulldogs went 3-2 during a five-game stretch in which they played four times on the road after winning at Mississippi 81-75 behind 27 points from Quinndary Weatherspoon. Mississippi State owns a 10-1 record at home but will face consecutive rugged tests against LSU and No. 5 Kentucky on Saturday.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
ABOUT LSU (17-4, 7-1 SEC): Sophomore Tremont Waters, who leads the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and pumped in a season-high 36 in a win over Texas A&M on Jan. 30, was among 10 players nominated for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard. Waters is averaging 6.0 assists, handing out at least 10 on four occasions, and has registered an SEC-leading 3.0 steals per game. Freshman sensation Naz Reid, projected to be a high pick in this year’s NBA Draft, snapped out of a two-game shooting slump with his second double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds versus the Razorbacks.
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (16-5, 4-4): Reggie Perry is coming on strong in his first season with the Bulldogs, earning SEC freshman of the week honors after scoring 18 points at Alabama and following it up with a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds at Ole Miss. “My confidence has been up pretty much since we started (the SEC schedule),” Perry said after Saturday’s game. “My teammates have done a good job of getting me in the right positions and keeping me motivated.” Leading scorer Weatherspoon averaged 20.8 points over the past five games on 53.1 percent shooting (34 of 64).
1. Mississippi State has won 14 in a row when Weatherspoon scores 20 points.
2. Waters has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games.
3. Bulldogs G Lamar Peters, averaging 12.9 points, scored 24 against LSU in last season’s SEC tournament.