FINAL: No. 20 MSU 70, Ole Miss 60

Recapping No. 20 Mississippi State’s 70-60 win over Ole Miss at Humphrey Coliseum on Thursday night.

The buzz: MSU (19-5, 6-3 SEC) got its revenge in dominant fashion, opening up an 18-point lead more than once in the second half. It never trailed in the game and took a 40-27 lead into halftime. It was the kind of all-around effort that we haven’t seen a whole lot of from State. The Rebels (14-9, 4-5), who held both Dee Bost and Arnett Moultrie in check on Jan. 18 in Oxford (a 75-68 Ole Miss win), could do no such thing tonight.

Turning point: MSU went scoreless for 4 minutes, 46 seconds early in the second half, but Ole Miss could only manage a 6-0 run during that span. It was 58-40 at the 9:09 mark after a Moultrie alleyoop dunk. Ole Miss never got closer than 10 points, and that was late.

MVP: Bost was unstoppable, and nothing Ole Miss tried could slow him down. He had a career high in assists.

MSU leaders: Moultrie 18 points (9-14 FGs, 0-2 FTs), 9 rebounds; Bost 15 points (4-9 FGs, 3-6 3FGs, 4-4 FTs), 13 assists, 3 steals; Renardo Sidney 14 points (6-9 FGs, 1-2 3FGs, 1-1 FT), 7 rebounds, 27 minutes; Rodney Hood 10 points (4-12 FGs, 2-8 3FGs), 6 rebounds.

Ole Miss leaders: Reggie Buckner 15 points (6-10 FGs, 3-7 FTs), 9 rebounds; Jarvis Summers 12 points (5-8 FGs, 2-4 3FGs, 0-2 FTs), 4 assists; Jelan Kendrick 11 points (4-10 FGs, 1-1 3FGs, 2-3 FTs), 5 rebounds.

Key stats: MSU and Ole Miss each scored 34 points in the paint; MSU out-rebounded OM 38-33; MSU had 17 assists, OM 9; MSU shot 45.9 percent overall (51.6 percent first half), 36 percent from 3-point range (9-25); Ole Miss shot 43.1 percent overall, 33.3 percent from 3-point range (3-9); Nick Williams 0 points (0-6 FGs) for Ole Miss.

Highlight reel: Bost came up with a steal of Kendrick in the backcourt and raced the other way for an emphatic dunk, giving State a 50-36 lead at 13:07 of the second half.

Quotable: “Our biggest thing is you can’t get caught up ever in talking about what you’re going to do in this series. We’re not about that. Kids sometimes do that, and our kids are aware of some things that were said. But let’s just stay focused and let’s let our games do the talking between the lines. I thought Dee did a great job of that tonight.” – MSU coach Rick Stansbury

Bottom line: MSU remains tied for third in the SEC standings and now have a chance to get on a roll. As mentioned before, it’s not had a three-game winning streak since before Christmas. A lot of things that went wrong last time against Ole Miss went very right tonight. Also, Bost’s 13 assists are the most by an SEC player this year.

Up next: MSU wraps up its three-game homestand Saturday when Georgia visits for a 12:30 p.m. tipoff, on the SEC Network.

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