ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The LSU Tigers couldn’t quite overcome a 19-point first-half lead by Mississippi State, falling to the Bulldogs, 80-77, in a second round game Thursday at the Southeastern Conference Basketball Tournament at the Scottrade Center.

The Tigers, 17-14, now await a post-season bid probably in the NIT with the possibility of hosting a first-round game still alive. Mississippi State won its 22nd game in 32 starts and will face league co-champion and second seed Tennessee in the 6 p.m. game on Quarterfinal Friday.

The Tigers were down 19 points, 42-23, with 2:21 after a free throw by Q Weatherspoon. But by then most of the damage had been done by the Bulldogs as they shot 64 percent in the first half (16-of-25) and 9-of-12 from the arc. LSU made just 10-of-30 field goal attempts, including 5-of-17 treys and 4-of-8 free throws.

LSU did outscore the Bulldogs 6-3 in the final two minutes to cut the halftime margin to 45-29 in favor of State, who in the end would be LSU in the tourney for the second straight year and for the fifth straight time overall in the event.