January 14, 2012 9:10:00 PM
STARKVILLE -- What we learned?
While he was sitting in the Humphrey Coliseum stands Saturday, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen learned Dee Bost can throw a touchdown pass, Brian Bryant can run a effective wheel route and oh yeah......Arnett Moultrie is really good anywhere near the rim.
After making back-to-back three-point shots to take the lead back, Mississippi State had 94 feet of court to maneuver with 3.4 seconds left.
Bost went ahead and unleased a football pass underneath Alabama's basket that replicated a perfect football wheel route to senior guard Bryant Bryant. Bryant caught the pass in stride at halfcourt and went in for the game's final basket while being fouled to lift the 20th-ranked Bulldogs to a 56-52 victory over Alabama.
throw it too short and (Bryant) created space between him and the defender."
Mullen and fellow members of his coaching staff Geoff Collins and Angelo Mirando were at Humphrey Coliseum Saturday with a number of recruits during one of MSU's official visit weekend before National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
The completed pass, which had an announced attendance of 8,730 on their feet, from the senior co-captain that takes the basketball out for the Bulldogs (15-3, 2-1 in Southeastern Conference) spotlighted not only his recognition of time and score in a pressure situation but highlighted the player MSU coach Rick Stansbury trusts to make that decision every time.
Bost's made three pointers stopped a streak of 14 straight misses from beyond the arc that had Alabama (13-4, 2-1 in SEC play) sinking back in a 1-3-1 zone defense daring the Bulldogs to shoot from the perimeter.
At one point during the contest, Arnett Moultrie had 14 straight points for the Bulldogs from the 4:35 minute mark of the first half and 17:45 left in the second. Moultrie, who finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds became the first MSU player since Charles Rhodes in 2007-08 to register two games of 25-plus points and at least 10 rebounds in the same season.
With the victory, only Kentucky and Vanderbilt are the only unbeaten teams left in league play as a one-loss MSU travels next week to play at Ole Miss and against the Commodores in Nashville.
Also of note, former MSU star and 15-year NBA veteran Erick Dampier was honored at his alma mater before Mississippi State's 56-52 victory over Alabama Saturday.
Dampier, who was a significant member of the 1996 squad that made it to the Final Four and was the 10th overall selection by Indiana in the 1996 NBA Draft, was acknowledged at center court before the contest Saturday afternoon as a part of MSU's 100 years of basketball season-long promotion.
Dampier, along with walk-on teammate from that Final Four squad David Rula, was a significant financial contributor to the new Mize Pavilion that MSU uses as their basketball practice facility and offices starting this winter. Dampier, a former Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity member at MSU, says he was approached by the Rula family and MSU administration a few years ago.
Dampier joked that all he had when he played at MSU was a recreational gymnasium affectionally known as 'the Tin Gym'.
I'll have more on Dampier's return to the Hump in Sunday's edition of The Dispatch.
What we heard?
Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury:
"Arnett was a man today," Stansbury said. "We were very conscious to get him the ball all day."
Alabama coach Anthony Grant:
"We have to give Mississippi State credit. They did a good job at the end of the game making the plays that they needed to come out with the win."
Mississippi State junior forward Arnett Moultrie:
"Our guards did a pretty good job penetrating. Sidney and myself got a lot of dump offs. Tonight out guards did a lot of attacking on the rim and it worked for us."
Mississippi State senior guard Dee Bost:
"I told Brian (Bryant) in the huddle 'go long' and I figured if we threw (the ball) in the backcourt they would still have two seconds left....and they wouldn't have tome to get a shot off."
Jan. 18 vs. Ole Miss (11-6, 1-2)
The Battle for the Golden Egg basketball style continues Wednesday when the No. 20 Bulldogs make the trek to Tad Smith Coliseum for a 8 p.m. tip on CSS against the Rebels that are simply having a real difficult time scoring points.
In a 69-68 double overtime loss at Auburn Saturday, Ole Miss made just 7 of 28 from three-point range after starting the game 1-for-15. Since the Rebels scoring leader Dundrecous Nelson was dismissed from the team today, a day after he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, Ole Miss has failed to topped its 71-point effort in a home win against Arkansas.
Seven different players have led Ole Miss in scoring at least once this year, topped by Terrance Henry's total of five times. Ten different players are averaging at least eight minutes per game at this juncture, while nine players average over 10 minutes per outing.
"I'm not sure it's how we want to play, but it's who we are," Rebels oach Andy Kennedy said Saturday after the loss at Auburn. "It's who this team is. I would like to tell you that next game we're going to rise up and as opposed to 7-of-28 go 17-of 28, but that's probably not happening. We got to continue to understand who we are, battle, find ways to make the play and that's the ultimate difference in winning and losing."
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
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