STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Charles Rhodes had 27 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game to lead Mississippi State to a 84-75 victory over LSU on Saturday.
It was Rhodes's sixth game in his last eight to score 20 or more points and his 12th straight contest to finish in double digits. The 10 rebounds gave Rhodes his 15th career double-double.Mississippi State (21-9, 12-4) used its defense to facilitate an 18-3 run early in the second half that separated the game.Ranked second nationally in team defense, the Bulldogs held the Tigers to 38 percent shooting in the game. Mississippi State also blocked 10 shots in the game, setting a new conference record with 243 blocks for the season.LSU (13-17, 6-10) threatened late with an 11-3 run in the final six minutes, but two clutch free throws by Rhodes and a dunk by Jarvis Varnado preserved the Bulldog win.Jamont Gordon scored 23 points for Mississippi State while Ben Hansbrough added 12.Mississippi State held a narrow lead for most of the first half, but a couple of free throws by Marcus Thornton in the final minute gave LSU the edge at halftime. The Tigers led 43-42 at the half and remained competitive with the Bulldogs for most of the game, thanks mostly to 38 points from Thornton, which tied his career high.Chris Johnson had 17 points in the game and Anthony Randolph chipped in 14 for the Tigers.