|Mississippi State forward Renardo Sidney (1) slams a dunk in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern State in Jackson, Miss., Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)|
No. 18 Miss. State beats Northwestern State 82-67
JACKSON, Miss.—Arnett Moultrie had 24 points and 14 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season and No. 18 Mississippi State beat Northwestern State 82-67 on Thursday night.
Moultrie led a productive night for the Bulldogs' big men. Reserve Wendell Lewis scored a career-high 14 points off the bench, while Renardo Sidney added nine points and four rebounds in the first half before sitting out the rest of the game because of a strained patella tendon in his left knee.
But Moultrie was the most productive. He shot 8 of 11 from the field and 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Eleven of his 14 rebounds were on the offensive glass.
Mississippi State (12-1) has won 11 straight games.
Northwestern State (7-6) pulled within 45-39 early in the second half, but MSU responded with an 11-1 run. Shamir Davis led the Demons with 15 points.
The Bulldogs won easily despite an off night from most of the guards. Dee Bost, the team's leading scorer with 18 points per game, managed just eight on 3-of-14 shooting.
Mississippi State jumped out to a 30-11 lead by midway through the first half, feasting on easy baskets at point blank range. Sidney had a particularly violent one-handed tomahawk that highlighted the team's 26 points in the paint during the first half. The Bulldogs took a 41-27 lead into halftime.
The 6-foot-10 Sidney was playing one of his better games this season during the first half, with nine points and four rebounds in 11 minutes. But he didn't play in the second half because of the knee injury, sitting on the bench with a bag of ice on his left leg.
Without Sidney, Mississippi State struggled to open the second half. Northwestern State went on a 12-4 run to close the gap to 45-39, but the Bulldogs responded with an 11-1 run of their own to put the game out of reach, capped by a Lewis dunk on a fastbreak that pushed Mississippi State's lead to 56-40.
Mississippi State outrebounded Northwestern State 44-34 and scored 52 points in the paint. The Bulldogs also had 24 second-chance points.