MISSISSIPPI STATE WINS 2K SPORTS CLASSIC
Arnett Moultre, a junior from nearby Queens, N.Y., celebrating his 21st birthday, tallied a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Mississippi State to a 67-57 victory over Arizona. The win handed State the 2K Classic championship and completed a very successful visit to Madison Square Garden and the Big Apple for MSU.
Moultrie was also named the tournament’s MVP.
Friday’s win came on the heels of State’s upset of Texas A&M Thursday night in the semifinals.
State got out to a 7-0 lead from the opening tip Friday and the Wildcats would only tie the game once the rest of the way – 23-23 at the 9:26 mark of the first half.
But the game was fairly close throughout, and State led by just two, at 54-52 with 6:30 to go in regulation. Leading 59-55 with under five minutes to go, Moultrie tipped in a ball and the Bulldogs never looked back from there, outscoring UA 6-2 down the stretch.
Rodney Hood (9), Dee Bost, who was named to the all-tournament team, and Renardo Sidney (8 each) followed Moultrie in scoring for MSU. Bost had six assists.
Solomon Hill paced Arizona with 12 points. Jesse Perry an all-tournament team selection, had a double-doubles with 10 points and 11 boards.
In the consolation game, Elston Turner hit a 12-foot jumper with six seconds to play for his only points of the second half and Texas A&M beat St. John’s, 58-57.
Nurideen Lindsey of St. John’s missed two free throws with 2.3 seconds left and Turner grabbed the final rebound to give the Aggies (3-1) the win at Madison Square Garden.
Lindsey’s misses capped a horrible final few minutes at the line for the Red Storm (3-2), who went 5-13 on free throws over the closing 6:21.
Ray Turner had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Aggies, who are playing the first month of the season without Big 12 All-Conference pick Khris Middleton. He had surgery on his right knee Nov. 11.
Lindsey, who was named to the all-tournament team, and D’Angelo Harrison both had 12 points for the Red Storm, who seemed to overcome every failure except for the missed foul shots, something that has plagued them so far this season.
Lindsey made two free throws with 4:23 left to tie the game at 55. David Loubeau, hampered by foul trouble all game, scored down low to give the Aggies a 56-55 lead but he missed the free throw that could have given him a three-point play. That play came 14 seconds after God’sgift Achiuwa missed two free throws for St. John’s.
Lindsey made one of two free throws to tie it with 2:21 to go and Harrison did the same for a 57-56 lead with 21 seconds left.
Elston Turner, who finished with eight points, dribbled on the right side before heading toward the basket only to pull up for the game-winner.
– Associated Press