By Brad Locke and Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Arnett Moultrie was surprised by how easily the points came on Thursday night.
The same Ole Miss team that had given him fits on Jan. 18 put up little resistance in the rematch. Moultrie had 18 points and nine rebounds, shooting 9 of 14 and throwing down several alley-oop lobs in MSU’s 70-60 win.
“They should’ve started trying to box me out, but they wasn’t,” said the 6-foot-11 Moultrie, who had 10 points in the first meeting. “That’s what I thought they were going to try to do, but I just kept sneaking behind them, pointed my finger up for the lob.”
In the last meeting, it was Ole Miss forward Reggie Buckner getting it done, notching 19 points and 15 rebounds. Thursday, he had 15 points and nine boards, and little of it came easy for him.
Renardo Sidney did a much better defensive job on him, and also added 14 points and seven boards.
MSU out-rebounded Ole Miss 38-33, but it wasn’t really that close.
The stats got skewed a bit at game’s end. Each team scored 34 points in the paint – Ole Miss beat State in that category last time, 36-26.
“Our back rotation just was not there,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said of Moultrie’s easy buckets. “It seemed like he was there by himself sometimes.”
Freshman guard LaDarius White had played in only two of the Rebels’ previous three games and did not get on the floor last Saturday in a double-overtime loss at Alabama.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy expanded his playing rotation against the Bulldogs, and White turned in a productive 14 minutes with four points on 2 for 5 shooting, a rebound, an assist and a steal with no turnovers.
Freshmen Aaron Jones got five minutes, Maurice Aniefiok one minute.
“I wanted to get some of those young guys in early. I did a poor job in our last outing. As a coach you’re always thinking, ‘Was that a factor in Reg (Buckner) fouling out?’ which was a key in our loss at Alabama,” Kennedy said. “I was trying to get them into the flow early in case I had to go to them late, and I thought they helped us.”
Jelan Kendrick and DeMarco Cox, generally the Rebels’ top two reserves, played 20 and 10 minutes respectively.
The Ole Miss bench outscored the MSU 19-11, with 11 of the Rebels’ bench points coming from Kendrick.
Smith dresses out
After returning to the team Monday, MSU freshman guard DeVille Smith dressed out for the game but did not play. He was listed as probable before tipoff.
Smith had missed the previous four games after being hospitalized with headaches, dizziness and memory loss.
“He wasn’t part of the game plan tonight,” MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. “It didn’t work out to put him in. Hopefully as we go on we can get him worked back in here some.”
Williams shut out
Junior guard Nick Williams was not a consistent scorer for the Rebels as a sophomore last year, hitting double figures in the SEC just once.
That changed this year, and Williams had posted double figures in seven straight games, getting 17 or more three times in that stretch.
Williams was a key for the Rebels’ offensively when they defeated MSU in Oxford. He was 5-for-10 from the floor, 7-for-9 from the free throw line for 17 points.
He never got going in the rematch, completely shut out with no points on 0-for-6 shooting. He had three rebounds but no assists, blocks or steals.
Williams was 0 for 5 at halftime.
“He’s been our leading scorer in SEC play, and for him to throw up a donut is not good for the Rebels,” Kennedy said.