8:00 PM ET, March 3, 2004
Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Nobody had a shooting touch for most of the night, then LSU finally found its range.Brandon Bass and Darrel Mitchell each scored 14 points as LSU rallied to beat Mississippi 58-45 Wednesday night.LSU scored 48 second-half points to overcome a 16-point deficit for the victory. That after a first half in which the Tigers shot just 20 percent and scored just 10 points."I believe in these guys and I am proud of what I just saw, very proud of it," said LSU coach John Brady. "You know at halftime I told our guys look, you are only down 11 despite scoring only 10 points, and no matter what the score would have been it did not matter."LSU (18-8, 8-7 Southeastern Conference) scored only 10 first half points, the fewest in a half under Brady, and trailed 21-10 at halftime. The Tigers shot 20-percent in the first half converting just 5-of-24 field goals.The Rebels (12-14, 4-11) were not much better hitting only 34-percent of their shots in the first 20 minutes."They are a physical group of guys," Brady said of Ole Miss. "Our four freshmen and a sophomore when the game was on the line matched them toughness for toughness. What I have seen the last two games out of this team has really impressed me. They are going to get better and better and what we did today made a statement and what we are going to do the rest of the year is going to be positive I believe."In the second half, LSU outscored the Rebels 48-24 en route to the 13-point victory. Brandon Bass and Darrel Mitchell led the Tigers with 14 points each. Tack Minor had 11 points for LSU making 5-of-7 shots.The Tigers trailed by 16 points twice in the second half. Ole Miss led 31-15 and 33-17 midway through the second half. But LSU outscored the Rebels 27-10 over the last 11:56 for the victory.A Mitchell layup tied the score 42-42 with 4:01 left in regulation. Mitchell buried a three-pointer less than a minute later giving the Tigers their first lead 45-42. Ole Miss tie the game 45-45 on a Todd Abernathy 3-pointer, but would not score again as LSU fired off 13 unanswered points.Aaron Harper led Ole Miss with 20 points. The Rebels shot 39-percent for the game.LSU converted 11-of-23 free throws while Ole Miss went to the line just seven times, making four.Ole Miss has now lost 20 of its last 22 road games in the SEC. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for LSU.