Mississippi 80, LSU 60
ATLANTA (AP)—LSU’s Big Baby was knocked out of the SEC tournament by Mississippi’s Big Bam.
Bam Doyne scored 26 points and Ole Miss built a 20-point first-half lead over cold-shooting Louisiana State and beat the Tigers 80-60 in a quarterfinal game on Friday night.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis powered LSU past Tennessee with 26 points and 15 rebounds in the first round Thursday night, but Davis and the Tigers couldn’t match that success against Ole Miss.
Davis (6-9, 289) had only six points on 1-for-8 shooting as the countered with their own big inside players—Dwayne Curtis (6-8, 280) and Kenny Williams (6-8, 240).
LSU (17-15) is left to await a possible NIT bid, a bitter postseason reality one year after playing in the NCAA’s Final Four.
Doyne, a senior guard, finished two points shy of his career high and also led the Rebels with eight rebounds. Williams had 12 points and Eniel Polynice added 11.
Tasmine Mitchell led LSU with 15 points. Darnell Lazare had 13.
Ole Miss (20-11) will face Florida in Saturday’s second Southeastern Conference semifinal game. The Rebels will play their first semifinal since 2001, when they lost in the final to Kentucky.
A win over the No. 6 Gators might be enough to earn the Rebels an NCAA tournament bid.
Arkansas will face Mississippi State in Saturday’s other semifinal. The SEC championship game is scheduled for Sunday.
LSU hoped its 76-67 overtime victory over Tennessee in Thursday night’s first-round game would provide momentum for a long run in the tournament. Instead, the Tigers came out flat with their worst first half of the season.
LSU made only 4 of 29 shots (13.8 percent) from the field in the half.
Before Friday, LSU’s season-low total for first-half points was 24 in a 64-53 loss to Vanderbilt on Jan. 24. The Tigers set a new low, trailing 37-17 at halftime.
After Lazare’s jumper tied the game at 2-2, LSU missed its next 18 shots from the field. The long drought finally ended with only 5:43 left in the half when Lazare scored under the basket.
LSU was 1-for-13 on 3-pointers in the half. Mitchell’s 3-pointer with 2:29 left in the half cut the Ole Miss lead to 26-15, but Doyne answered with two quick 3s for the Rebels, who led 37-17 at the break.
After the two 3-pointers, Doyne was outscoring LSU 16-15.
LSU picked up its scoring in the second half but couldn’t overcome the poor start. Back-to-back baskets by Dameon Mason and Terry Martin cut the Ole Miss lead to 14 at 47-33 with 13:34 left. The Rebels pushed the lead back to 20 before LSU again pulled to within 14 at 55-41 following a steal and layup by Garrett Temple.