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    Flames Nearly Topple Bulldogs
     

     
    Mississippi State's Derrick Zimmerman and Cedrick Banks chase a loose ball in the second half.
     
    Mississippi State's Derrick Zimmerman and Cedrick Banks chase a loose ball in the second half.
     
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    Dec. 22, 2001

    Box Score

    LAS VEGAS (AP) - Mario Austin scored 16 points, and Mississippi State made 6-of-7 free throws in the final 1:19 Saturday night in beating Illinois-Chicago 77-74 for third place in the Las Vegas Classic.

    Michael Gholar's three-point play with 1:19 left gave the Bulldogs a 72-70 lead, and they were on top the rest of the way. Austin's foul shot with two seconds remaining completed the scoring.

    Illinois-Chicago's Jon Schneiderman attempted a shot from near midcourt as time expired that could have tied the game.

    Austin made 7-of-11 shots, and had 10 rebounds. Gholar also had 10 rebounds for Mississippi State (12-1), which outrebounded Illinois-Chicago 48-20.

    Marckell Patterson and Timmy Bowers added 11 points each and Derrick Zimmerman had 10 points and seven assists for the Bulldogs.

    Cedrick Banks led Illinois-Chicago (7-4) with 20 points. Armond Williams added 13 points and Jordan Kardos had 10 for the Flames. No Illinois-Chicago player had more than three rebounds.

    Mississippi State made 31-of-57 shots (54.4 percent) while Illinois-Chicago made 28-of-63 (44.4 percent). The Flames kept it close mainly by forcing 24 turnovers while committing only eight.