Troy falls 106-68 to No. 17 Mississippi State

Troy coach Don Maestri said there were two good things his team

could take from Saturday’s 106-68 blowout loss to No. 17

Mississippi State.

The first was that the Trojans responded from an awful first

half with a solid 10-minute stretch to start the second half.

The second?

”It’s over,” Maestri said with wry grin.

Dee Bost scored a season-high 28 points, Arnett Moultrie added

20 points and 12 rebounds and Mississippi State cruised to the easy

win over Troy at Humphrey Coliseum.

Troy (4-4) was led by Emil Jones’ 15 points. Will Weathers

scored 10 and R.J. Scott added 10. Ray Chambers had eight points

and 11 rebounds. The Trojans trailed by 47 points at one point in

the second half, unable to keep up with Mississippi State’s

fast-paced offense.

Troy also struggled with its shooting, making just 8 of 35 (22.9

percent) shots from 3-point range. The Trojans rarely got open

looks.

”You’re talking about one of the Top 20 teams in the country

that shoots the ball very well,” Maestri said. ”We’re supposed to

be the good outside shooting team, but thought tonight Mississippi

State was the good shooting team.”

The Bulldogs (9-1) won their eighth straight game, shooting 56.3

percent (40 of 71) from the field, including 51.6 percent (16 of

31) from 3-point range. Renardo Sidney added a season-high 18

points and eight rebounds, Jalen Steele scored 15 and Rodney Hood

12.

The five MSU starters combined for 93 points and 29

rebounds.

”We’re not nearly as good as we’ve got to become,” Stansbury

said. ”But one of our greatest strengths is our versatility.”

Bost shot 9 of 16 from the field, including 7 of 13 from 3-point

range. The 6-foot-2 senior guard added nine assists and three

rebounds.

Moultrie posted his fifth double-double of the season. He shot 9

of 14 from the field and had five assists. Mississippi State

dominated in the paint, outscoring Troy 42-26.

”My ears and eyes kind of perked up when I heard how small they

were,” Moultrie said.

The Bulldogs were terrific from outside as well – their 16

3-pointers tied a school record. They also had 30 assists to just

13 turnovers.

Mississippi State was occasionally sloppy with its

decision-making in the first half, but shot so well that it didn’t

matter. The Bulldogs made 61.1 percent (22 of 36) of their shots

from the field, including 8 of 15 from 3-point range on the way to

a 54-26 halftime lead. Steele and Moultrie had 12 first-half

points.

The Bulldogs didn’t stop there, with 52 second-half points. They

pushed past the 100-point mark with 4:54 left in the game Sidney’s

two-handed dunk. The final total would have undoubtedly been

higher, but Stansbury emptied his bench with more than four minutes

remaining.

Sidney continued his enigmatic play, with good moments mixed

with bad ones. The 6-foot-10 forward looked lethargic in the

opening minutes and earned a technical foul after an off-color

comment. But then he responded with a 3-pointer and a thunderous

one-handed dunk on back-to-back possessions that served as a

reminder of how good he can be.

Steele made five 3-pointers, which tied a career-high. The

6-foot-3 sophomore guard is often the forgotten starter, but it’s

the third straight game he’s scored at least 10 points.

He suffered a season-ending knee injury against LSU, tearing the

ACL in his left knee, but is fully recovered and playing the best

basketball of his young career.

”I that that’s three or four games in a row that he’s been

zeroed in,” Stansbury said. ”Now when the ball leaves his hands

we expect it to go in. A few weeks ago you didn’t know – and he

didn’t know. But now he’s got some confidence and he believes in

his shot.”

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