Bulldogs prove more is better

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 27, 2011
DeVille Smith spied a tall, lanky Arnett Moultrie circling behind the defense and tossed up an alley-oop pass. It looked well behind Moultrie's head, but the 6-foot-11 junior cocked one his long arms back, plucked the ball out of the air and slammed it through the hoop. Mississippi State has proven it can win games without Moultrie. It sure is easier when he's on the court. Moultrie had 20 points and Dee Bost added 18 as the 24th-ranked Bulldogs cruised to an 82-59 victory over North Texas on Sunday. Mississippi State (7-1) has won six straight games and now has a week to rest before hosting West Virginia in the SEC/Big East Challenge ''It's still early, but I think we're one of the best teams in the nation,'' Bost said. With Moultrie back on the court, Bost's case becomes much stronger. Frontcourt starters Moultrie and Renardo Sidney returned to the lineup after both missed two games because of injuries. Moultrie continued his hot start to the season, shooting 5 of 9 from the field and 10 of 10 from the free-throw line. Sidney battled foul trouble for much of the game, finishing with nine points and three rebounds. ''I played them until I couldn't play them anymore,'' Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. ''One of them wanted to come out of the game, but we just had to turn our head and leave him in there. He was totally fatigued, but that was good for him.'' The return of Moultrie and the 6-10 Sidney gave the Bulldogs much more size under the basket and they used it to their advantage in the first half, outscoring North Texas 20-2 in the paint by finding open players for point-blank baskets. Moultrie sat out last season after transferring from Texas-El Paso and has made an immediate impact since becoming eligible this season, averaging 16 points and 10.8 rebounds. ''I'm just glad to be back,'' Moultrie said. ''I wanted to come out and be aggressive offensively and get in a good rhythm for this big game we've got next weekend.'' His high-flying dunks bring the cheers from the crowd, but it's his attention to detail that wows Stansbury. Moultrie is shooting 48.4 percent from the field and nearly 89 percent (32 of 36) from the free-throw line this season, displaying a shooting touch that many big men lack. Stansbury said that's no accident. ''Every day - I don't care how hard we practiced - he and coach (Phil) Cunningham are out there after practice working on shooting,'' Stansbury said. ''It's paying off for him.'' The Bulldogs bolted to a 30-10 lead in the first 10 minutes and were never challenged, shooting 63.3 percent in the first half and 51.9 percent for the game. Rodney Hood and Jalen Steele had 11 points apiece for Mississippi State, which went 9 of 19 (47.4 percent) from 3-point range. Bost shot 6 of 8 from the field, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Hood and Steele hit three 3-pointers each. Chris Jones led North Texas (1-3) with 12 points and Jordan Williams added 10. The Mean Green shot just 32.3 percent (20 of 62) from the field and 25 percent (5 of 20) from 3-point range. ''Our shots are going to fall eventually, but we've got to get some things cleaned up on defense,'' North Texas coach Johnny Jones said. ''You just can't let a team shoot 63 percent in the first half and over 50 percent for the game and expect to win. That's just not good enough.'' ----- Follow David Brandt on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Tortorella challenges LeBron: “Not a chance” he could play hockey

Orioles, Mark Trumbo close to agreeing on 3-year deal

Report: Khris Middleton could return before All-Star break

Over a dozen Steelers players dealing with the flu

Mike Mularkey: Marcus Mariota ‘should be ready’ for 2017 season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Angry fan interrupts Chargers Los Angeles presser

Serena Williams forced a reporter to apologizing for saying she played poorly

Pablo Sandoval has 'reshaped himself' this offseason, John Farrell says

Report: Seahawks could lose second-rounder for not disclosing Sherman injury

Kemba Walker on if he should be an All-Star: ‘Not really,'

Arizona star guard Allonzo Trier suspended for PED use

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Was Jack Capuano the right person to blame for Isles' woes?

Ten NBA players who need a change of scenery

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

QUIZ: Name every NCAA men's and women's basketball team with perfect regular seasons

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker