Cruising at 'Big House': Bulldogs defeat Demons in Jackson
Mississippi State guard Brian Bryant, middle, and forward Arnett Moultrie (23) defend against Northwestern State guard Gary Stewart, left, in the second half of Thursday night's game in Jackson. (Photo by Rogelio V. Solis, AP)
JACKSON â€“ Arnett Moultrie recorded his seventh double-double of the year and Mississippi State cruised to a victory in the "Big House."
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On the annual trip to Jackson, the Bulldogs ran past Northwestern State 82-67.
Moultrie led all scorers with 24 points and pulled town a game high 14 rebounds. He also had four assists in 31 minutes of action.
Of those 14 rebounds, Moultrie pulled down 11 of those on the offensive end that led to easy put backs.
"A little bit," Moultrie said of the Demons have trouble blocking him out. "Me being 6-11 and athletic, it's kind of hard for people to box me out. I use my quickness to get around them. That's how I'm getting all those rebounds."
Wendell Lewis had a career high 14 points to go along with four rebounds. MSU head coach Rick Stansbury was proud of his two big men stepping up.
"Both of these guys' strengths is going for rebounds on the offensive end," Stansbury said. "It's a great ability to go do that. You have to have a nose for that basketball. The easy thing is turn around and go down that court. The hard thing to do is when it's shot to go fight for it and both these guys have an ability to do that."
The Bulldogs, who won their 11th-straight game and improved to 12-1, never trailed. They went on a 13-0 run midway through the first half to go up 26-9. They built a 20-point lead, their largest of the game, later in the half, and went into the locker room up 41-27.
"I thought we coasted after we got that 20-point lead," Stansbury said. "It looked like the guys had their bags ready to go and were ready to go home. We had lost our focus. I was just glad to see us get the win."
Renardo Sidney only played the 11 minutes in the first half and sat out the entire second half after a knee injury. He strained his patella tendon in the first half and was unable to go in the second half.
"He just couldn't go in the second half," Stansbury said. "He tweaked his knee in the first half, but we will see. He had good stats for just 11 minutes of play."
The Demons came out in the second half on a 12-0 run to pull with six points at 45-39. MSU called a timeout and answered with a 15-3 run of its own to build the lead back to double digits at 60-42.
"We called a timeout on their last big run," Moultrie said. "We went to the huddle and said that was the last run they were going to make and we came out of the timeout and got the lead back up to double digits."
Lewis was a little timid early in the first half and held out on a couple of good looks. Dee Bost made sure that did not happen again.
"Dee got on to me for not shooting," Lewis said. "So the next time he passed it to me, I dunked it."
Stansbury is always excited to play in Jackson and is glad the fans got an opportunity to see the team.
"Thought the crowd was great," Stansbury said. "This is the reason we come and play in Jackson. It gives a lot of people who can not come see us play in the Hump a chance to see the team. A lot of kids who don't have an opportunity to see us get that opportunity."
Rodney Hood was the other player in double digits with 11 points and six rebounds. Bost added eight points with three assists.
Shamir Davis led the Demons with 15 points and four rebounds. Louis Ellis scored 11 and the Demons shot 42.9 percent for the game.
The Bulldogs will be back in action next Wednesday, Dec. 28 when they travel to the American Airlines Center in Dallas to take on Baylor.