August 13, 2011 10:49:00 PM
PARIS, France -- The Mississippi State men''s basketball team opened its European trip with a double-digit victory, and it concluded it with another one Saturday with a 99-71 victory against the French team Stade De Vanves.
The Bulldogs, who return home Monday with a 5-0 ledger, led from start to finish. Arnett Moultrie and Deville Smith led the Bulldogs with 21 and 20 points respectively.
Moultrie also had 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the three-country swing that featured stops in the Netherlands and Belgium.
"We came here and accomplished what we wanted, which was to win and improve," MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "I really like what I saw on this trip, but, at the same time, we have a lot of work to do. But these five games gave us a leg up."
The Bulldogs took a 16-4 lead after Moultrie scored six straight points, and led 29-18 after the first quarter.
If there was a negative, it came early in the second quarter when senior guard Dee Bost fell awkwardly after making a shot in the paint to put his team up 31-19. He left the game for good with a right ankle sprain after scoring two points and dishing out four assists.
"I''ll be OK," he said. "It''s the same ankle I''ve hurt before."
With Bost out, Smith took over at the point and wreaked havoc on both ends of the floor.
"With Dee out, I knew I had to step up," said freshman from Callaway High who hit three 3-pointers. "We all had to make plays, and we did."
Moultrie and Wendell Lewis accounted for nine of MSU''s first 10 point in the second half to help extend the lead to 25 points. The advantage never fell below 24 points, while the biggest lead was 89-56 on a 3-pointer by Rodney Hood.
"I thought we did a lot of good things on this trip and improved with every game," said Moultrie, who averaged 16.8 points and 11.2 rebounds. "We know now what we have to do to get ready for Oct. 15."
Jalen Steele added 11 points.