Scorching Dawgs Down Aggies In NYC
By: Hunter Richardson
On perhaps America’s biggest stage in sports and entertainment, Dee Bost made sure his Dawgs shined the brightest.
Leading all scorers with 20 points, Bost got Mississippi State (3-1) off to a blistering start and kept it going for the remainder of the 40 minutes, upsetting the No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies (2-1), 69-60.
Playing on the road for the first time in the current campaign, State shot out of the gate from the tip, building a 22-point lead. The Dawgs hit five of their first six shots, busting out to an early 15-5 lead. The Dogs caught fire from beyond the arc (5-8 in first half), including big-man Arnett Moultrie, and looked to run away with the contest.
State managed to stretch their lead to 31-9 as they reached the 10 minute mark in the first half, especially thanks to a 16-4 run sparked by the two shining freshmen for the Dogs, Rodney Hood and Deville Smith.
The Aggies would not go quietly though as they fought back to narrow the deficit to nine at the half. David Loubeau used a couple of layups and a pull-up jumper to spark a small run by A&M to cut into State’s double-digit lead.
State entered the second-half similar to the beginning of the game, jumping out quickly with a 7-2 run. Consecutive lay-ups from Brian Bryant and a three-point play by Moultrie lit another fire under the Dog’s and extended their lead to 16, 48-32, with 17:36 to go in the match. Texas A&M would continue in its attempts to break the Dogs and diminish their lead, but their tries failed.
State turned up their defensive intensity and Bost turned on the after-burners, including a three from NBA range, and kept the Aggies from ever getting closer than eight. The MSU Gold Team even got to make their appearance on the big stage as well, as MSU would hold off for the victory.
The Dogs statistically played a solid game, shooting 22 of 54 from the field (40.7 percent) and 6 of 13 from three (46.2 percent). A&M shot just as well, also hitting 22 of 54 from the field (40.7 percent), along with 6 of 15 from three (40.0 percent). The difference came at the charity stripe, where the Bulldogs were 19 of 31 (61.3 percent), where the Aggies were 10 of 14 (71.4 percent).
Both teams were even or near even in many categories, including assists (nine each), turnovers (MSU 15, A&M 16) and points off turnovers (MSU 17, A&M 18).
However, State was able to dominate in two important categories in this game, winning the rebounding battle 39-35, and points in the paint 36-28.
Along with Bost’s game-leading 20 points and four steals, senior Bryant put in 12 points and seven rebounds. Hood contributed 10 points, where Moultrie chipped in an eight point, eight rebound performance.
For Texas A&M, Elston Turner led the way, scoring 13 points. Loubeau put in 11 points and six rebounds, while Jamal Branch scored 10 in the defeat.
With the victory, Mississippi State moves on to the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic today, as they face No. 16 Arizona at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
The Wildcats are coming off an impressive win over St. John’s and will post yet another tough matchup for the Maroon and White. It will be key for State to get off to another blistering start and have the entire lineup firing on all cylinders against an impressive team from the Pac-12. Look for State to turn once again to their senior leader Dee Bost to light the fire under the Dogs and prove to the nation they belong in the spotlight.