STARKVILLE, Mississippi (Ticker) -- The winning coach didn't feel good physically. The losing coach didn't feel good mentally.
No. 23 Mississippi State avenged an earlier loss in the Southeastern Conference but not before nearly squandering a 12-point lead in the final minute of a 67-64 victory over Louisiana State.
Michal Ignerski scored 15 points and Timmy Bowers added 14 for the Bulldogs (12-4, 2-3 SEC West), who suffered an 85-72 setback in Baton Rouge two weeks ago for their second of three straight losses.
This one should have been a lot easier for Mississippi State, which had a 12-point lead with 44 seconds left when the Tigers (12-5, 1-4) embarked on an 11-0, 34-second run, closing within 65-64 on Ronald Dupree's 3-pointer with 11 seconds to play.
Derrick Zimmerman followed with a pair of free throws to give the Bulldogs a 67-64 lead. Antonio Hudson then missed badly on a 3-point attempt that would have tied it with a second remaining.
"We're very happy to get the win, but not very happy with the way we played the last minute of the game," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. "Give LSU some credit; they hit some huge shots to keep it close and have a chance."
The Tigers hit three of their eight 3-pointers in the closing 34 seconds but suffered their third straight loss. Part of the problem was a three-guard lineup that could not compete with the Bulldogs physically.
"I'm sore from watching that game," Louisiana State coach John Brady said. "We lost the game and Mississippi State won the game. Mississippi State's players are bigger than my guys and stronger than my guys."
Bulldogs star forward Mario Austin scored only eight points and had six turnovers in 33 minutes, but he made a key defensive play on Hudson's 3-point try, stepping out to alter the shot at the top of the key.
"I'm not worried about scoring," said Austin, who entered the day averaging a team-best 18.2 points per game. "I just wanted to get everybody else involved. That was my main thing, just to come out and play within myself and not overdo it."
Winsome Frazier scored 11 points and Zimmerman added 10 for the Bulldogs, who shot 47 percent from the field (26-of-55) while holding the Tigers to 42 percent (26-of-62). They also held a 40-31 edge on the boards and totaled 11 steals and six blocks.
"We don't mind playing physical at all," Stansbury said. "This team believes in defense and rebounding."
Dupree scored 15 points and Hudson added 12 for Louisiana State, which hit 8-of-19 attempts from 3-point range and just 4-of-9 free throws. The Bulldogs were 12-of-18 from the line.
The Tigers were within 26-21 when Ignerski and Bowers hit consecutive 3-pointers to extend Mississippi State's lead to 32-21 with 2:09 left in the first half. The Bulldogs took a 38-28 lead into the break behind 10 points from Bowers.
Frazier completed a three-point play 4:34 into the second half to make it 46-33, and the Bulldogs led by at least eight points until Darrel Mitchell hit a 3-pointer to get Louisiana State within 65-58 with 34 seconds to play.
Mitchell then fouled Austin, who turned over the ball on Mississippi State's previous possession before missing a foul shot. Torris Bright followed with a 3-pointer to get the Tigers within 65-61 with 23 seconds remaining.
After another foul, Frazier missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Dupree then cut the deficit to a point when he sank a leaning 3-pointer from the top of the key with Collis Temple III in his face.
"You have to make free throws in close basketball games to win," Stansbury said. "Thank goodness we had a large enough lead and were able to hang on."
Zimmerman finally made a pair of free throws to stem the tide for the Bulldogs, who improved to 16-5 in the series since the 1993-94 season.
"I knew that the game was probably going to come down to that since we let them back in the game," Zimmerman said. "I just wanted to step up and be the clutch player."
Hudson's game-tying 3-point attempt was way off as Austin forced him into a one-handed shot from the top of the arc. The ball hit the lower right portion of the backboard.