By PAUL JONES Associated Press
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Daquan Bracey had 16 points and Amorie Archibald added 15 to lead Louisiana Tech to a 74-67 win over Mississippi State on Thursday.
Isaiah Crawford, Derric Jean and Kalob Ladoux all finished with 10 points for Louisiana Tech (6-2).
“We knew coming here that we were going to play a very good Mississippi State team,” said Louisiana Tech head coach Erik Konkol. “I’m really proud of our guys with the physicality we played with down the stretch. Mississippi State rebounds the basketball well and are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. So, we knew we had to play extremely well to win and we were fortunate to do that.
“We had to make the rebounding margin not so significant and win the turnover margin. So, to win the rebounding margin tonight was tremendous for us.”
Louisiana Tech’s win snapped Mississippi State’s 26-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents. Louisiana Tech shot 48.1% for the game and made 62.5% (10 of 16) beyond the arc. The Bulldogs also outrebounded Mississippi State 34-31 and had 14 offensive boards.
Mississippi State (6-2) was led by Tyson Carter’s 20 points. Reggie Perry added 14 points and 14 boards to collect his fourth double-double of the season for Mississippi State. Abdul Ado also added nine points and eight boards for the Bulldogs.
“That’s a very tough loss to a good team and a veteran team,” said Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland. “You see why they are a projected NCAA Tournament team. But I was disappointed in our defense tonight and we didn’t help on our roll-ups. They had a lot of layups in the paint in the first half and that was in a half-court offense. We allowed them to get too many offensive rebounds and 14 is way too many offensive rebounds.”
Mississippi State took a 55-54 lead following Carter’s pair of free throws with 10:11 remaining in the second half. But Louisiana Tech reeled off 10 consecutive points to regain the lead and control of the game. Mississippi State would not get any closer than six points the rest of the way.
“Give them credit and they brought it tonight,” said Carter. “They came ready to play and we obviously didn’t come out ready to play. Usually after a long layoff you can be sluggish but that’s no excuse. You still have to play every game like it’s the most important game of the season.”
The first half was a back-and-forth affair that featured eight ties and four lead changes. Mississippi State jumped out to a 17-11 lead before Louisiana Tech responded with an 8-0 run, taking its first lead after a pair of free throws by Archibald.
Louisiana Tech ended the half with a 39-36 advantage thanks to Bracey’s 3 pointer that banked in at the buzzer.
Mississippi State shot 51.9 percent in the first half and made 6 of 12 beyond the arc. Louisiana Tech shot even better from the field at 57.1 percent and made 5 of 9 from 3-point territory.
For the game. Mississippi State shot 47.2% and made 11 of 23 attempts beyond the arc. The Bulldogs had 13 turnovers and made just 6 of 12 from the free throw line.
Louisiana Tech: After tough road losses at Creighton and Indiana, Louisiana Tech found the upset that escaped them earlier in the season. The Bulldogs were within one point at Creighton with six minutes left but lost an 82-72 decision.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs suffered their first home loss of the year and it was their first game in 11 days. Due to final exams on campus, Mississippi State must encounter another layoff on the schedule and won’t return to action until Dec. 14.
Louisiana Tech: The road trip this week continues as Louisiana Tech travels to Sam Houston State on Sunday.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs play Kansas State on Dec. 14 in Newark, New Jersey, in their meeting with another Power 5 team this season.
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