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Feb 23, 2024 8:24 pm

Mississippi State, LSU on winning streaks going into matchup

cameron matthews

Mississippi State and LSU have gotten hot during the second half of the Southeastern Conference schedule.

The Bulldogs (18-8, 7-6 SEC), who have won four in a row, and the Tigers (14-12, 6-7), who have two consecutive victories against ranked teams, meet Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

LSU beat then-No. 11 South Carolina 64-63 on the road on Feb. 17 before getting a 75-74 home victory at the buzzer against No. 17 Kentucky on Wednesday night.

“Over the last week (I’ve been) seeing the toughness that we need to play with,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said.

The Tigers took the lead against the Gamecocks with five seconds left and withstood an errant 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Tyrell Ward’s putback as time expired gave them the victory against the Wildcats.

“These past two games have been an amazing experience,” forward Jalen Reed said. “I think we have grown a lot as a team, and we are starting to reap the benefits of our hard work. This is a good representation of the team we can be.”

LSU is still a long shot to get into the NCAA Tournament, but it now has three victories against teams that were ranked at the time it beat them, including an 89-80 home victory against then-No. 22 Ole Miss on Jan. 17.

“The best teams go through the most adversity,” Ward said.

The Bulldogs extended their winning streak when they overcame a four-point halftime deficit in an 83-71 home victory against in-state rival Ole Miss on Wednesday.

Senior forward Cam Matthews spurred the strong second half, scoring 10 of his 11 points after halftime.

“I thought Cam Matthews set the tone defensively with some big plays, some hustle plays,” coach Chris Jans said. “He’s our heartbeat. He’s our leader and our personality.”

The Bulldogs showed off their depth against Ole Miss as the Bulldogs’ bench outscored the Rebels’ bench 49-11.

“We’ve got the utmost faith in all our guys, top to bottom,” Matthews said.

–Field Level Media

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