By The Associated Press
DETROIT — Arnett Moultrie and No. 17 Mississippi State kept cool when it mattered most in their first true road game of the season.
Rodney Hood made the go-ahead basket with 17.7 seconds to play and Moultrie added a big blocked shot seconds later to help the Bulldogs win their 10th straight, 80-75 over Detroit.
“I just had to step up and make a play,” said Moultrie, who rejected Eli Holman’s shot near the basket with eight seconds left. “I could see Holman going up and I knew I had to be there to block it.”
Moultrie (13 rebounds) and Brian Bryant, who returned after missing three games, each scored 17 to pace Mississippi State (11-1). Renardo Sidney added 16 points and Dee Bost finished with 13 and five assists to help the school earn its 1,300 win in the program’s 100th season.
It didn’t appear the game was heading for such a dramatic conclusion five minutes into the second half.
The Bulldogs led 39-36 at intermission and scored the first 10 points of the next period in less than three minutes. The lead was as large as 15 points before the Titans (5-8) began working their way back.
Chase Simon tied the game at 70 with 2:31 to play and Ray McCallum Jr. knotted the score for a final time when his jumper made it 75-all with 40 seconds left. The Bulldogs turned the ball over just eight times but the Titans turned those miscues into 17 points.
“We got that big lead in the second half and we started turning the ball over,” Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. “We didn’t play our best game today but we found a way to win.”
Other than a two-game stop in New York for last month’s 2K Sports Classic, the game Saturday was the first the Bulldogs had played outside Starkville.
The Titans got 17 points each from Simon and McCallum. Doug Anderson added 13 and Holman finished with 12 and nine rebounds as Detroit lost its second straight.
“We had a play set up for Eli and Moultrie made a game-saving block,” said Titans coach Ray McCallum, whose team rallied back from a double-digit deficit before falling at Alabama last week. “That’s what good teams do. “It’s a disappointing loss, but I think the way we played in the second half is a sign of how good we can be.”