- Special Sections
- Dawgs Deals
- Local Guide
By MATTHEW STEVENS
OXFORD â€“ Go ahead and possibly call 2011, the same song, but with a different verse.
Last season Dee Bost was able to silence the Tad Smith Coliseum crowd with 25 points to get Stateâ€™s season back on track in the Bulldogsâ€™ first Southeastern Conference road trip.
The MSU junior point guard did it again Thursday night in Stateâ€™s 69-64 upset win at Ole Miss in front of a surprised announced attendance of 8,407 in Oxford.
â€śWe knew this was a must-win because one team was going to come out of here 0-2 (in league play) and we tried to make sure it wasnâ€™t us,â€ť Bost said. â€śAll we kept preaching leading up to this was play with heart and donâ€™t stop fighting.â€ť
This time he had help from the biggest man on the floor.
Bost ended the evening with a team-high 25 points by consistently hitting momentum-building shots throughout MSUâ€™s first league win of the 2010-11 season and third-straight rivalry victory.
â€śI tried to not settle for jumpers like I did (Saturday) against Alabama,â€ť Bost said. â€śWe knew they couldnâ€™t guard ball screens very well and thatâ€™s what we tried to do early on.â€ť
The shot that got State (9-7, 1-1 in SEC play) sprinting to the locker room was a pick-and-roll action three from nearly 25-feet away after a ball screen from senior forward Kodi Augustus to send an excited Mississippi State bench into the half down just 34-32.
â€śWe allowed Dee Bost to turn the corner time and time and time again,â€ť said Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said. â€śIt was a pathetic effort on our part starting with me.â€ť
Since he signed with Mississippi State on April 30, 2009, Bulldogs fans had been waiting for sophomore forward Renardo Sidney to show his McDonaldâ€™s All-American form and Thursday night was that moment. The 6-foot-10 forward ended the evening with 24 points in 36 minutes, both career highs for the Jackson native in his fourth game in a MSU uniform.
Sidney was not made available after the game do to a continued coachesâ€™ policy.
â€śSid was much more efficient on that block tonight,â€ť Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury said. â€śI thought he controlled his emotions really well and played with some emotion.â€ť
This performance was just days after his Humphrey Coliseum debut in which he finished with a disappointing two points on 1-for-8 shooting.
â€śThereâ€™s no substitute for experience and after Saturday I thought he attacked the rim more,â€ť Stansbury said.
Throughout the first 20 minutes of play, the Rebels (12-5, 0-2) lived off the long-distance shot by having guards Zach Graham and Warren account for 21 first-half points on 6-for-13 from beyond the three-point arc.
Graham, who came into Thursday night averaging just under 14 points per game, nearly had that by the halftime buzzer as the 6-foot-6 swingman from Suwanee, Geo., failed to score in the second half.
Warren, the SECâ€™s third-leading scorer at 18.8 points per game, was unable to get offensive help on Stateâ€™s long stretching 2-3 matchup zone that attacked shooters as soon as they caught the ball on the perimeter.
â€śIt was a poor effort,â€ť Kennedy said. â€śWe've got to fight and find a way...good teams find ways to win in a variety of ways.â€ť
After Ole Miss had its first four field goals be of the three-point variety, Stansbury switched out of the man-to-man defense after 16-minute media timeout and then immediately forced three straight turnovers.
â€śI was asking my guys to probably do too many things and that was play too much man,â€ť Stansbury said. â€śIf you're asking your players to do too much, that's bad coaching.â€ť
With the Rebels down one with less than 90 seconds left in the contest, Ole Miss guard Nick Williams airballed a three-point shot just prior to a timeout by Kennedy that was rebounded by Augustus.
Williams, a transfer from Indiana, failed to make any of his six field goal attempts and posted just one point in 25 minutes of play.
â€śFrom my vantage point, he had a step in shot that SEC players need to make,â€ť Kennedy said. â€śThey played 35-36 minutes of zone and that means you're going to get good looks and we weren't able to knock them down.â€ť
Warren totaled 25 points on 9-for-20 from the field and 7-for-14 from beyond the three-point arc but missed the tying jump shot with seconds left that ended all hope for the Rebels first victory against MSU since 2009.
The victory represented Stansburyâ€™s 35th road win in the conference, which is the fourth most in the league and most in the Western Division.
â€śThe two things I wanted our kids to do tonight was play with some heart and play with no fear,â€ť Stansbury said. â€śIt's very obvious we had some fear in Saturdayâ€™s game but tonight I didnâ€™t see any of that.â€ť