Bulldogs drop close opener
By By Danny P. Smith / special to The Star
Nov. 24, 2002
STARKVILLE Louisiana-Lafayette's Brad Boyd certainly picked the right number to wear on his jersey.
Boyd, who wears the No. 3, hit a Humphrey Coliseum record nine 3-point field goals and scored 33 points as the Rajin' Cajuns upset the 12th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs 79-76 Saturday night.
Boyd hit four of his shots from long range in the first half and heated up for five more in the second half.
With Boyd's help, the Ragin' Cajuns handed the Bulldogs their first loss in an opener since the 1991-92 season. The largest season opening crowd since the 1996-97 season of 6,857 was stunned, while Louisiana-Lafayette celebrated at midcourt after the final buzzer sounded.
Boyd hit one of his 3-pointers with 1:05 left in the game to put the Ragin' Cajuns on top for good at 74-71.
Despite a 3-pointer by Winsome Frazier and another basketball by Zimmerman for the Bulldogs, Anthony Johnson hit four free throws down the stretch to provide the difference for Louisiana-Lafayette.
Johnson followed Boyd in the scoring column with 26 points, while Chris Cameron added 12 points.
For Mississippi State, Bowers collected 22 points, while Zimmerman added a career-high 18 points. Branden Vincent had a double-double in his first appearance as a Bulldog with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Vincent will get another chance immediately as Mississippi State gets right back on the court Monday at home to face McNeese State. The Bulldogs eliminated the Cowboys in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season.