SMITH COLUMN: Bulldogs put up balanced attack against Trojans
By DANNY P. SMITH
It was a pretty impressive showing by the 17th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs on the basketball court Saturday afternoon.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of the 106-68 victory against the Troy Trojans at Humphrey Coliseum was the balanced scoring up and down the lineup for MSU.
The production didn't come from just one, two or even three players, but several Bulldogs got into the act. All five starters scored in double figures.
Here is a rundown on what took place.
Arnett Moultrie had his fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds for MSU, while Dee Bost led the way with 28 points.
Along with Moultrie and Bost, Renardo Sidney had 18 points, Jalen Steele contributed 15 points and Rodney Hood chipped in 12 points. Wendell Lewis added eight points off the bench.
The Bulldogs improved their record to 9-1 this season and stands 4-0 when Moultrie scores 20 or more points and 4-0 when Bost gets 20 or more points.
It really didn't matter who was in or out of the game at any particular time because Mississippi State was in full-throttle from the opening tip.
The first and second halves almost mirrored each other for MSU. After scoring 54 points in the first half, the Bulldogs followed that up with 52 more in the second half.
MSU men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury was surprised to see the score get so out of hand against Troy.
"We didn't go into this game thinking it was going to be like this," Stansbury said. "We had some guys jump up and make some shots. When you do that, it gets easy. We had a pretty efficient at both ends."
Moultrie and Steele had 12 points each by halftime, while Sidney and Hood had seven points each and Lewis chipped in six as MSU jumped out to a 54-26 lead. It was the highest point total for the Bulldogs in the first half this season.
One of the reasons for that was the shooting. MSU was a blistering 61 percent (22-of-36) from the field in the first half.
It was a type of matchup that could have been tough on Sidney because of the fast-paced style of the Trojans.
Sidney had one of his better games with his season-high point total and season-high eight rebounds in 22 minutes.
He played 14 minutes of the first half and even though there were times he looked fatigued during that stretch, his play was consistent.
Basketball wasn't the only thing on Sidney's mind either because he left immediately following the game to take a final exam.
The only bad mark with Sidney was the technical foul he got in the first half. Other than that, there was nothing wrong with what the junior from Jackson brought to the table.
Even after getting fouled hard on a layup with 5 minutes left in the game, Sidney stayed in and had a dunk to make the score 101-59.
The last time the Bulldogs broke the 100-point mark was on Dec. 5, 2009 against St. Bonaventure.
If MSU continues to get this type of play out of so many different people, then some special times can be expected on the court this season.
Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.
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