By Brad Locke | NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Dee Bost called on his days as a quarterback during Saturday’s game.
With No. 20 Mississippi State clinging to a one-point lead and just 3.4 seconds on the clock, the senior point guard lobbed a pass down the floor to teammate Brian Bryant, who laid it in and hit a free throw to secure a 56-52 win over Alabama.
After Alabama scored, the inbounds play actually called for Bost to find forward Arnett Moultrie, the Bulldogs’ best free throw shooter. But during the timeout, Bost told Bryant, “Go long.”
Bost was dangerously close to a five-second violation, but Bryant got away from Levi Randolph. Bost, who quarterbacked his high school team to a state championship as a senior, dropped the ball into Bryant’s hands perfectly.
“I put some touch on it,” Bost said. “I knew how far to throw it, and I didn’t want to throw it too short, and I didn’t want to throw it too far. He got wide open, though. He created space between him and the defender.”
Moultrie had a big scoring night with 25 points, and 14 of those came during a seven-minute stretch spanning the first and second halves.
He scored MSU’s final eight points of the first half and the first six of the second. Moultrie got two layups and an alley-oop dunk to help State open up its largest lead of the game, 33-23, soon after halftime.
“Last game I had four rebounds, and that almost never happens,” Moultrie said. “So I wanted to come out and have a good rebounding game, and the rest took care of itself.”
He had 13 rebounds, and Moultrie’s nine double-doubles ties for the SEC lead with Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.
Sidney steps up D
Junior Renardo Sidney logged a season-high 28 minutes and made the most of them.
He only scored eight points, but the 6-foot-10 forward’s value was on defense. He helped keep Alabama’s JaMychal Green, a preseason first-team All-SEC pick, away from the rim.
Sidney had two steals. His biggest play came with about 40 seconds left, when he forced Green into a tough shot that, if made, would’ve given Bama the lead.
“I really saw a different Sidney tonight,” Moultrie said. “There were times when he wanted to come out of the game, but he just fought through it, he sucked it up.”