|Mississippi State center Wendell Lewis (30) dunks past Tennessee-Martin guard Mike Liabo (10) during their NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Friday, Nov. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)|
Bost leads No. 24 Mississippi State to 76-50 win
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Dee Bost and Rodney Hood scored 17 points apiece, and No. 24 Mississippi State pushed its winning streak to five games with an easy 76-50 victory over Tennessee-Martin on Friday night.
The Bulldogs never trailed, receiving contributions from all over the roster. Freshman DeVille Smith scored a career-high 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, while Wendell Lewis had his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Mississippi State (6-1) shot 59.3 percent (32 of 54) from the field -- including 68 percent in the second half -- and outrebounded Tennessee-Martin 37-31.
Dane Smith scored 17 points for Tennessee-Martin (1-5) and Myles Taylor added 12. The Skyhawks had 16 turnovers.
Mississippi State played without starting forwards Renardo Sidney and Arnett Moultrie for the second straight game. A team spokesman says Sidney has a sprained hand, while Moultrie is battling tendinitis in both knees.
Bost and Hood have been productive all season, but the production from Smith and Lewis bodes well for the rest of the season.
Sidney and Moultrie combine to average about 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Lewis helped make up for their absence. The 6-foot-9 junior from Selma, Ala., came into the game averaging 4.5 points and 5 rebounds per game, but capitalized on the extra playing time.
Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury has been impressed with Lewis' ability since he arrived on campus over two years ago, but occasionally exasperated by his laid-back demeanor. Though he's still not exactly an enforcer, Lewis has grown more assertive in the paint, and is one of the team's most important backups when the roster is at full strength.
Smith missed the first game of the season because of unexplained headaches and dizziness, but after his health was cleared, he's slowly became a more important part of the Bulldogs' roster. The 5-foot-11 point guard also added three assists and two steals in 26 minutes.
Mississippi State has been rolling since a surprising 68-58 home loss to Akron in the second game of the season. Wins over Arizona and Texas A&M in the 2K Classic last week propelled the Bulldogs into the national rankings, and the team still has four games remaining in a six-game homestand that continues Sunday against North Texas.