Arnett Moultrie stole the show for the Mississippi State Bulldogs in their 56-52 win over Alabama on Saturday afternoon.
And while Moultrie’s 25 points and 13 rebounds were certainly the highlights of the game, it was the team effort that helped the Bulldogs improve to 15-3 overall this season.
“It was a great team effort,” MSU head coach Rick Stansbury said following the game. “I’m just so proud of how our team played (Saturday).”
The Bulldogs were a combined 0-for-14 from 3-point range before Dee Bost broke out of his slump hitting three consecutive treys over the final 4:23. Bost also handled the Alabama press well, only surrendering one turnover for the afternoon to go with his 17 points and four assists.
Bryan Bryant, who hadn’t scored in the contest, closed out the game with State’s final five points, including the game winner.
“We never really got into the flow but we had to step up and make plays," Bryant said. "That’s what we did down the stretch."
Renardo Sidney didn’t have a dominating outing on the offensive end. However, he did manage to hold JaMychal Green in check on the defensive end of the floor and that’s a welcome addition in the eyes of Moultrie.
“He stepped up (Saturday),” said Moultrie. “I saw a different Sidney. There were times when he wanted to come out of the game but he sucked it up and stepped up and made big defensive plays for us.”
Freshman forward, Rodney Hood, didn’t have the type of game State fans have come to expect from him offensively, but he may have been the MVP with his defensive efforts, ball handling and seven rebounds.
“It wasn’t his typical offensive game but he played really well,” Stansbury said of Hood’s outing. “He handled the ball consistently against the press and helped the team in other ways.”
Moultrie will no doubt grab the headlines with his ninth double-double of the season, but if one piece of the puzzle is missing against the Crimson Tide, the Bulldogs come up on the short end of the scoreboard.
While some worried the opening loss to Arkansas would serve as a blueprint on how to defeat the Bulldogs, the Bama win could prove to be the example of team chemistry that proves State will be a team to be reckoned with in the Southeastern Conference this season.