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November 27, 2009

Bulldogs fall to Richmond in tight decision

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - After finding itself down by as many as 14 points to Richmond on numerous occasions in the semifinals of the South Padre Island Invitational, Mississippi State fought back and seemed to take control late in the game.

But with 9.8 seconds remaining and his team trailing by one, Spiders guard Kevin Anderson nailed a 15-foot jumper to lift Richmond to a stunning 63-62 victory.

The loss snapped MSU's three-game winning streak and sends it to Saturday's 4:30 p.m. consolation round against Friday night's loser between Missouri and Old Dominion.

"No. 1, you can't spot them a 14-point lead," said MSU coach Rick Stansbury, whose team fell to 3-2 overall. "But still again, we fought back. We just didn't finish."

Despite putting itself in an early hole, the Bulldogs battled back and closed the gap to 35-32 at the break on a late putback by Phil Turner right before time expired.

The Spiders (4-1), though, regained the early momentum in the second half and pushed its lead back to 10. But as they did the first half, MSU came storming back.

Finally, that persistence paid off with 10:22 left on two free throws by Kodi Augustus that tied the game at 49-apiece. Augustus, who finished with 13 points, later gave the Bulldogs its first lead at 55-53 with two more free throws at the 7:36 mark.

State then built its biggest advantage at 62-57 on a short jumper by Ravern Johnson, who totaled a team-high 15 points.

But unfortunately for MSU, that would be its last points as it watched the Spiders score the game's final six points, including the game winner by Anderson.

Anderson finished with 12, while Ryan Butler totaled a game-high 19 points.

MSU finished the game shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor (18 of 54), while Richmond was 22 of 44.

All-SEC senior forward Jarvis Varnado was plagued with foul trouble, but still scored 8 points, while grabbing 6 rebounds to go along with his one block.



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