LSU beats Mississippi 75-71
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Keith Hornsby doesn’t exactly have a pretty 3-point shot, with a hitch in his motion, long windup and a low arc that causes the ball to get to the rim in a hurry.
But the LSU guard isn’t interested in style, just results, and the 6-foot-4 junior provided plenty of those on Wednesday night.
Hornsby scored 23 points, including 20 in the second half, to lead LSU past Mississippi 75-71 in a tight, entertaining game at Tad Smith Coliseum.
”The shots we were getting in the first half, we knew we could make, so we just had to keep doing the same thing and trust that they were going to go in,” Hornsby said. ”We did exactly that and made them in the second half.”
Hornsby provided a hint he was about to get hot just before halftime, making a 3-pointer from the corner with 15 seconds remaining to give LSU a 32-28 halftime lead. He added four more 3-pointers in the second half – finishing 5 of 10 from behind the arc for the game – providing an offensive answer every time Ole Miss tried to make a run.
He had plenty of help. LSU’s talented frontcourt duo of Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey dominated throughout the game. Martin finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds while Mickey had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
But the Tigers are used to getting production from Martin and Mickey, who are both NBA prospects and command the attention of the opposing defense on a nightly basis. LSU coach Johnny Jones said Hornsby’s scoring allows those big guys more room to work in the paint.
The Tigers’ other starting guard, Josh Gray, added 14 points and 10 assists.
”That’s the good balance and that’s the threat of our basketball team,” Jones said. ”Our perimeter players are capable of making plays in a big-time way.”
LSU (13-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) broke a three-game losing streak against the Rebels. It’s the first time the Tigers have won in Oxford since 2009.
Ole Miss (10-6, 1-2) led for a big chunk of the first half, but couldn’t overcome a bad shooting night by its starting guards. Stefan Moody, who leads the team in scoring this season, shot just 5 of 18 from the field to finish with 14 points.
M.J. Rhett led Ole Miss with 15 points.
The game was tight throughout the final minutes, but LSU made enough free throws – including two by Hornsby with five seconds left – to keep Ole Miss at arm’s length.
The Rebels used a 12-0 run to take a 44-43 lead on LaDarius White’s 3-pointer with 13:49 left, but LSU didn’t panic, using a mix of Mickey and Martin down low and timely outside shooting from Hornsby.
The 6-foot-10 Martin was especially efficient, making 9 of 12 shots from the field.
It was a third straight difficult game for LSU, which lost to Missouri in overtime last week before needing double overtime to beat Georgia.
Summers scored 13 points for Ole Miss while Dwight Coleby added 10 points and eight rebounds. Ole Miss shot just 27 of 78 (34.6 percent) from the field.
”I didn’t think we had pep in our step,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. ”We looked lethargic. How can we be lethargic in these situations? It boggles my mind.”
LSU: Tim Quarterman scored eight points one game after scoring a career-high 27 points in the Tigers’ double overtime victory on Saturday. Quarterman has scored 54 points in three SEC games.
Ole Miss: The Rebels came into the game leading the nation in free-throw percentage, making 79.1 percent of their attempts. Ole Miss made 12 of 16 (75 percent) on Wednesday.
LSU hosts Texas A&M on Saturday.
Ole Miss travels to face Arkansas on Saturday.
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