“It was a tough year” | LSU’s season, and likely Johnny Jones’ tenure as head coach, ends in 79-52 defeat to Mississippi State at SEC Tournament

By CODY WORSHAM | Tiger Rag Editor

In what could very well be the final game of Johnny Jones’ LSU career, the Tigers did not make a field goal in the game’s final 11:33, falling 79-52 in the first round of the SEC Tournament.

LSU’s season — and Jones’ tenure, in all likelihood — will end with a 10-21 overall record. The Tigers dropped all three of their contests against the Bulldogs.

“I look forward to meeting with someone in the near future,” Jones said, asked about the future. “As I know I’m sure you guys will know.”

According to the SEC Network broadcast, LSU’s 1-of-22 effort from beyond the arc was the worst in tournament history. State knocked down 11 threes.

The Tigers’ leading scorer on the season, Antonio Blakeney, finished LSU with 11 points. He could’ve played his final game as a Tiger, too; an NBA decision looms for the sophomore guard in the offseason. Skylar Mays led the way with 13 points and 4 assists.

Quindarry Weatherspoon and Tyson Carter led Mississippi State with 19 and 18 points, respectively. The Bulldogs outshot LSU 47 percent to 33 percent from the field.

LSU was within four early in the second half and within as close as seven with just over 13 minutes to play, but the Tigers went ice cold from the floor, and State managed a 29-9 run over nearly 13 minutes of play to pull away.

The loss wraps up perhaps the worst season in the last 50 years of the program. The 1966-67 team won just three games and suffered a 14-game losing streak in Press Maravich’s first year. He’d make it several more season thanks to his son, Pete.

Jones, it appears, will suffer a sooner severance.

“I don’t have any excuses about what happened this year,” he said. “Shoot, I’ve got the keys, driving the bus. It was a tough year for us.”

Jones made sure to give credit to his players, saying they never quit and will be better in the long run for their struggles.

“I think these guys that we had worked extremely hard to try to fight their way out of the slump we were in,” he said. “I credit them for fighting. They never quit…They’ll be better because of the experience they went through this year. They through a lot of wars. This summer, I’m sure they’ll work a lot harder to make sure they don’t experience this again.”

 

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