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Mississippi State survives against LSU, advances to 2018 SEC Tournament Quarterfinals

The Bulldogs move on to Friday.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Mississippi State vs LSU Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the best efforts from Tremont Waters, the Mississippi State Bulldogs edged out the LSU Tigers 80-77. With the win, the Bulldogs advance to the 2018 SEC Tournament Quarterfinals.

A 3-pointer from the freshman star in Waters cut score to 78-77 with less than 10 seconds to play. But a couple of passes and a dunk by Nick Weatherspoon with only one second remaining effectively snuffed LSU’s chances of victory out. Weatherspoon’s flush puts the Bulldogs in Thursday’s Quarterfinals, as they’ll take on the No. 2 seed, the Tennessee Volunteers.

The aforementioned Nick Weatherspoon matched his brother Quinndary’s output of 15 points. So the Weatherspoons combined for 30 of their 80 points. 24 of those 80 points were accumulated by Lamar Peters. Peters was integral, shooting 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point land. He was hard on himself in the postgame interview with ESPN’s Molly McGrath. But, there’s no denying that he had a tremendous impact on the game.

Aric Holman was the fourth player to get into double figures for State, scoring 11 points on Thursday night.

Waters, who enjoyed a fantastic freshman season, capped off his first run through SEC play with a 28-point outburst. Waters shot 10-of-20 from the field and 5-of-10 from beyond the 3-point arc, as well. Waters also added six assists and four rebounds in 35 minutes, putting up numbers in just about every possible category. Daryl Edwards and Brandon Rachal joined Waters in double figures, posting up 11 and 10 points respectively.

LSU’s season now comes to an end. Will Wade certainly did the best he could with the roster he had, and there’s a lot of promise coming next year with a highly touted recruiting class that will be rolling in to Baton Rouge. The Fighting Tigers certainly have a pretty great shot of getting an NIT berth, and they’ll be a fun team to watch if that’s the case.

Meanwhile, the dream remains alive for Mississippi State. They, too, would probably find themselves in the NIT if the season came to an end today. But, with a little luck, they could steal an auto-bid if they somehow got through Tennessee and then won the SEC Championship. It shall be no easy task for Ben Howland’s bunch on Friday though, as the Vols boast the Player of the Year (Grant Williams), the Coach of the Year (Rick Barnes) and Lamonte Turner, who shared the Sixth Man of the Year with Jontay Porter of the Missouri Tigers. But we’ll see if these Bulldogs have any more fight in them.