Dee Bost and Bryan Bryant combined for Mississippi State’s last eight points over the final 1:35 to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide 56-52 in front 8,730 fans inside Humphrey Coliseum Saturday afternoon.
“I’m awfully proud of our team the way we did this,” said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. “We got back up off the floor after last weekend. Our guys found the way to make the plays and get the stops and make the offensive plays when they have to make them.”
The Bulldogs (15-3, 2-1) trailed by three with 3:35 remaining when moments later Bost hit his second consecutive 3-point basket after opening 0-for-4 from beyond the arc, tying the game at 48. The next trip down the floor Bost connected from long range again giving State the lead.
“I was feeling it,” said Bost. “I had hit two shots before and I needed to step up and make a shot and so I did it.”
JaMychal Green then connected on two free throws to draw Alabama (13-4, 2-1) within one.
Bryant then entered the scoring column with a layup that pushed State’s lead back out to three at 53-50 with 11 seconds on the clock.
After a Trevor Lacey layup with 3 seconds remaining, Bost reflected on his days as an All-State quarterback in North Carolina as he delivered a perfect pass to a streaking Bryant for the layup that would give State a three-point lead. Bryant completed the 3-point play and closed out the game with State’s final five points, his only points of the afternoon.
“I put some touch on it,” Bost said with a laugh. “He got wide open with some space between him and the defender.”
Stansbury actually designed the inbounds play to go to Arnett Moultrie, but was certainly OK with how things worked out.
“We were going to get it to our best free-throw shooter if we could in Arnett,” said Stansbury. “If it wasn’t there, we were going to spread out and if we had to throw it we were going to make sure we were going (toward our basket) with it.”
While Bost and Bryant closed the game out for the Bulldogs, it was the tremendous efforts of Moultrie that allowed the Bulldogs to even be in the game.
Moultrie led all scorers with 25 points and picked up his SEC-leading ninth double-double with 13 rebounds.
Mississippi State may have also received the best outing of the year to date from Renardo Sidney who only scored eight points but had a major impact on the game on the defensive end.
Stansbury credited the big man with wearing down Alabama’s Green, holding him to just 14 points.
“Give Sid some credit,” said Stansbury. “He played a season high of 28 minutes and his big body in there on Green was a factor. Late in the game, he made a huge play as he got that steal and got that rebound late in the game.
“I thought he fought the whole game. Green never got into his comfort zone consistently. He’s going to make some points because he’s a terrific player and has the only guy on their team to score in double figures.”
The Bulldogs will return to action on Wednesday when they hit the road to take on the Ole Miss Rebels.