Bulldog Maroon & White

a Mississippi State sports blog

Bulldogs Slam The Door On A Tiger Tail

Posted by Kyle Weidie on March 9, 2008

Just before the game, Barry Booker doled out some disrespect. He said that Mississippi State and LSU were the best teams in the SEC West right now. He claimed not to disrespect Arkansas, but how can his statement not be?….and possibly to Ole Miss as well.

Early in the game, Charles Rhodes tried his hand at some outside/mid-range shots….when he should’ve been working to establish himself down low. He missed his first three attempts. Rhodes’ first strong inside move gave the Bulldogs a 17-8 lead, as State continued to have their way on offense.

The Bulldog defense looked strong in the opening minutes; Charles anchoring with a big block himself. However, Rhodes is clearly at the ‘block the shot out-of-bounds and yell’ stage instead of the ‘block the ball and recover it’ stage. The gritty Ben Hansbrough had his back with hustle and a save of the possession.

From LSU’s end, Chris Johnson, a junior born in Washington, DC, looked smooth in the early going, skinny like a crack-head though. Johnson’s job in exposing Charles Rhodes with activity on the offensive glass was commendable, along with his 17 points on the day.

Jamont Gordon gave us the obligatory “What was he thinking?” move as he got his pocket picked by LSU freshman sensation Anthony Randolph and then committed a juvenile intentional file. What do they call it? Oh yea, compounding mistakes.

Quick TV Stat: Anthony Johnson and Jamont Gordon are the only two players in the history of the SEC who won the Freshman of the Week honor four times.

Elgin Bailey impressed with his ability to take up space down low…..looked damn good scoring 2 points in 9 minutes of action. Mississippi State received 10 total points from their bench for the game.

In the first half, LSU definitely showed a tad more hustle than the Bulldogs, at times sprinting to get into their offense. The Tigers were able to keep up with MSU because their goal was to go in the paint…..getting the job done a little too easily if you ask me. As Rick Stansbury would say, ‘they took it down their throats’ resulting in a squeaky LSU halftime lead of 43-32, contributed to by the casual mannerisms of the Bulldogs.

In the second half, it only took the Bulldogs five minutes to take the lead for good. A three pointer by Jarvis Varnado of all people, put the Bulldogs up 14, 68-54, the largest lead of the game. The seven blocked shots Jarvis had against the Tigers is becoming a rather pedestrian feat for him.

But with just over two minutes left in the game, the Tigers were able to cut their deficit to four on a three from Marcus Thornton. I barely noticed the 17 Thornton scored in the first half, but his 38 for the game sure stands out. Oh yea, add the fact that Marcus scored 17 of his 38 in the final 6:16. It’s pretty rare for an individual player to go off two games in a row against the Bulldogs…..you didn’t forget Shan Foster’s 42 did you?

In the end, the tandem of Jamont Gordon and Charles Rhodes closed out the game as LSU simply could not hang with their superior talent; the duo combined for 50 points as Mississippi State had themselves an 84-75 win. The Dawgs were 20-24 on free throws….how ’bout that! [box score]

Passing Grades? The Bully Basketball Blog

Bulldog Pride: Charles Rhodes’ love for the logo and the photo.

“It’s been a great ride.”: The Clarion-Ledger gives Charles Rhodes some shine. They also feed a beast. And to shine, one must have a star.

Amber Alert: Barry Stewart – 5 points, 2-9 FG, 1-6 from three.

LSU Not Tough Enough: So says the Advocate.

Jamont Gordon: If it don’t fit, don’t force it.

What 38 Points? Thornton (the other one, Quintin) wanted no part of Charles Rhodes.

Photo of the Day: Jamont Gordon, The Ice Cream Man.

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