In what was never a pretty game start to finish, State lost a 69-67 see-saw affair tonight to the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Playing their 3rd game in 5 days started to show in the body language of the dogs as they looked like a completely different team in the second half. The shots that were falling in the first half weren't anymore, the team was standing around on both ends of the ball, and turnovers accumulated worse than leftover heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will tomorrow morning.
The first half was a different story, with State coming out red-hot and at one point leading 30-13. But give credit to LSU, the tigers never gave up and chipped away at the lead, cutting it to 7 at halftime. The tigers then continued their run to start the second period, eventually regaining the lead 56-54 and things see sawed back and forth from there.
I was really hoping I would be able to say that Sidney played another solid game tonight as he had the past two, but that's not entirely true. With the ball in his hands energy seemingly sprung him to life. With the ball out of his hands? Well, let's just say it wasn't the same story. He wasn't the only one though. Guys seemed to be forcing passes in to Moultrie when it wasn't there. There were also plenty of trips down the court where 5 guys stood in different parts of the floor and held their hands out for the ball. You know what that's called? me neither, but it ain't offense.
The Bulldogs finished with 20+ turnovers, the most they had had in a single game since a 2008 matchup against Washington State. Seems like that one ended the same way that this one did as well.
The bottom line is this: there was exhaustion, there was questionable refereeing at points near the end, but none of that matters. To be an elite team in the SEC, you HAVE to overcome these types of things to win games, especially conference road games, and State simply did not tonight. They looked lost tonight on both ends of the floor, and really didn't seem to be getting much inspirational speech from the feerless leader in the huddle either.
With 5 games left to play in the regular season and a, albeit thin, team loaded with talent, you have to hope that State realizes the now urgency that comes with this final stretch of the season.