The Bulldogs dropped their second straight close game at home with a 69-68 loss to LSU Saturday night. The Bulldogs were in complete control of this game in the first half, going into halftime with a score of 40-26. The Bulldogs shot 38.5 percent in the second half compared to 57.1 percent in the first.
“This one right here hurts, because I think it is the second ballgame that we have played that I thought we had the chance to win here at home. We just didn’t finish ballgames and play the way we need to play to have success in the end,” said a disappointed Rick Ray.
“When you turn the basketball over and don’t make free throws, you don’t give yourself a chance to win,” Ray added.
Free throws were by far the biggest letdown of the night for the Bulldogs, shooting only 48.1 percent (13-27) from the line.
Anthony Hickey hit the game winning shot with 1.7 seconds left on the clock. Hickey, who had 12 points on the night, also hit the game winning shot in overtime last year when the Bulldogs lost in overtime in Baton Rouge.
“When we made that basket, our defensive transition was nowhere to be found. Our guys were celebrating and trying to find their men, so I thought it was best for us to call a timeout,” said Ray.
Gavin Ware was the star of the night for the Bulldogs, going 6-8 from the field and 2-3 from the free throw line. Ware finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds.
“I think Gavin is just turning the corner as far as becoming a better basketball player. He’s going to be a guy when it is all said and done in the SEC, that he’s going to be a problem for the other team,” said Ray. He added, “He’s a freshmen right now and he is doing those things, imagine what he is going to be like when he is a junior and has some savvy post moves and those kinds of things.”
The Bulldogs schedule doesn’t get any easier as they make a trip to Oxford next Wednesday to face off against Marshall Henderson, and the Ole Miss Rebels. Following that game, the Bulldogs travel to Gainesville to take on Florida. Coach Ray will have to keep his young team together as they face two difficult road games next week.