Josh Hubbard, Mississippi St. top LSU for 5th straight win


Freshman guard Josh Hubbard scored a season-high 32 points and Mississippi State won its fifth consecutive game by defeating LSU 87-67 on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

Hubbard surpassed his previous high of 29 in a victory against Northwestern on Nov. 19. Tolu Smith III added 19 points and nine rebounds, and KeShawn Murphy scored 11 for the Bulldogs (19-8, 8-6 Southeastern Conference).

Trae Hannibal scored 22 and Jordan Wright added 14 to lead the Tigers (14-13, 6-8), who had beaten ranked opponents South Carolina and Kentucky in their previous two games.

The Bulldogs seized command of the game by finishing the first half with a 13-4 run and starting the second half with an 18-9 run.

The Bulldogs, who finished with a 41-12 scoring advantage from the benches, made 10 of 21 3-pointers (including Hubbard’s 6 of 12), and the Tigers made 3 of 17 from beyond the arc.

The Bulldogs scored the first four points of the second half on two free throws by Hubbard and a layup by Smith to take their first double-digit lead of the game, 44-33.

Field goals by Will Baker and Hannibal trimmed the lead to seven and the Tigers got within seven a second time. But Smith made consecutive baskets and Hubbard hit a 3-pointer for a 51-39 lead.

LSU scored the next three points, but 3-pointers by Hubbard and Dashawn Davis helped MSU expand the lead to 58-42. The lead remained in double figures the rest of the way.

The Tigers used a 9-0 run to take an early 13-8 lead, and moments later the Bulldogs countered with a 7-0 run to take a 20-18 lead.

The score was tied at 20, 23, 25, 27 and 29 before Davis’ 3-pointer completed a 7-0 run that gave MSU a 36-29 lead.

The Bulldogs led by seven points on two more occasions, the second being a 40-33 edge that it took into halftime.