STARKVILLE, Miss. — The LSU men’s basketball team went to overtime on the road for the third time in Southeastern Conference play Wednesday night.
For the third time, the Tigers were able to dig out a key victory in a hostile environment.
No. 21 LSU had to come back from an eight-point halftime deficit to get its game with Mississippi State to overtime before the Tigers prevailed 92-88 in Humphrey Coliseum.
The teams were tied at 83-83 at the end of regulation, but LSU forward Naz Reid, who scored 25 points after halftime, dropped in seven of the Tigers’ nine points in the five-minute overtime — including a huge 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds left — to lead the way.
LSU sophomore Tremont Waters is one of 10 candidates for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.
"I don’t know what it is,” LSU coach Will wade said of escaping with a third overtime win on the road. “We played a lot better tonight. We played smart down the stretch to get it to overtime and then we made some plays in overtime.”
Reid, who tied his career high with 29 points, scored the final six points for LSU after State took an 87-86 lead with 1:52 to play in the overtime session.
Reid worked his way inside for a basket and was fouled in the act by State’s Reggie Perry, then completed the old-fashioned three-point play with 59.5 seconds left.
Then, after Reggie Perry pulled Mississippi State to within a point when he made one of two free throws with 43.6 seconds remaining, Reid stepped out and hit the 3-pointer from the left wing that proved to be the game-winner.
The ball hit the front iron and bounced high into the air before dropping through the net for a four-point lead that clinched the comeback win.
LSU (18-4, 8-1 SEC) had already defeated Arkansas and Missouri in overtime when the Tigers got into another tight battle with the Bulldogs.
They earned the win on a huge second-half performances by Reid and guard Tremont Waters, who were especially strong in combining to go 14 of 22 from the field.
Reid, who had just four points at halftime, poured in 18 in the second half in hitting 7 of 10 shots from the field.
Waters had 15 points — going 7 of 12 — to help their team outscore Mississippi State (16-6, 4-5) in the second half 49-41.
“We needed to get him the ball in better space,” Wade said of Reid’s second-half scoring outburst. “Then, he scored seven of our nine points in overtime. He was phenomenal.”
The 29 points tied Reid’s career-high that he set in the second game of his collegiate career, a 97-91 victory over UNC Greensboro back on Nov. 9.
“I just had to attack,” the 6-foot-10, 250-pound Reid said of his second-half explosion. “I wasn’t going at their bigs strong in the first half. I went at them strong enough in the second half and imposed my will.”
Reid, who played most of the second half with three fouls, also had nine rebounds as LSU won the battle on the backboards 35-30.
Kavell Bigby-Williams also had a huge second half as well and turned in his sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Bigby-Williams, who had LSU’s other two points in overtime, scored 10 points after halftime.
Reid (10 of 17), Waters (11 of 18) and Bigby-Williams (6 of 6) combined to go 27 of 41 from the field as the Tigers shot 54.7 percent for the game.
Weatherspoon had 27 points to lead Mississippi State, while Perry added 19. Tyson Carter and Aric Holman came off the bench to score 12 points each for the Bulldogs in a losing effort.
Reid, who played just 11 minutes in the first half before picking up two fouls, wound up playing 24 of a possible 25 minutes in the second half and overtime.
He picked up his third foul with 17:17 to go and his fourth with 1:10 left in regulation, but managed to play the rest of the game and power his team to a win.
“Definitely, everybody was tired, but we just had to pull it out,” Reid said. “Me and Tre told the team that we were not coming out of here with a loss. So we pinned our ears back and won it.”