Mississippi State beats South Alabama, 80-65By DAVID BRANDT, AP Sports Writer Saturday, Nov 12, 2011
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP)—Arnett Moultrie scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his second double-double in three games and Mississippi State cruised to an 80-65 victory over South Alabama on Saturday.
The 6-foot-11, 249-pound Moultrie has been dominant in his first season with the Bulldogs since transferring from Texas El-Paso. The junior shot 9-of-16 from the field against the Jaguars, including a 3-pointer early in the second half that gave Mississippi State (2-1) an 18-point lead—its largest of the game.
Dee Bost scored 16 points, Rodney Hood 15 and Brian Bryant 10 as the Bulldogs used a 19-0 run early in the first half to take an insurmountable 28-11 lead. Starting forward Renardo Sidney didn’t play because of a groin injury.
The Bulldogs might have missed Sidney’s 290-pound body creating space in the post, but the shorter, quicker lineup had its advantages. Coach Rick Stansbury used more of an up-tempo style on both offense and defense that seemed to catch South Alabama by surprise in the Jaguars’ season opener, forcing 14 turnovers.
Stansbury said he wasn’t sure when Sidney would return.
Mississippi State was also much more active rebounding, with a 41-33 advantage that included 18 offensive rebounds. Moultrie had seven of those offensive rebounds while Wendell Lewis, who was starting in place of Sidney, had six. Lewis also had three blocked shots.
Moultrie is averaging 16.3 points and 12.3 rebounds over three games.
Bulldogs’ freshman DeVille Smith received his first extensive playing time of the season, scoring two points and dishing four assists in 19 minutes. The 5-foot-11 freshman missed the first game of the season because of headaches and dizziness, and played sparingly in Wednesday’s surprising loss to Akron, but Stansbury expects him to be a large part of the playing rotation when he’s fully healthy.
Augustine Rubit scored 16 points and nine rebounds in South Alabama. Mychal Ammons scored 15 points off the bench while Freddie Goldstein added 11. The Jaguars shot 26 of 57 from the field (45.6 percent).