In the midst of a five game slide and a total melt down, MississippiState(20-9, 7-8) found itself in yet another overtime contest. This time against lowly South Carolina (10-19, 2-13) and all one could think about is here we go again. State had already lost overtime contests to LSU and Georgia in recent weeks and now looked to be headed down the same path in Columbia, SC.
But - with 1.7 seconds left in the first overtime, deadlocked at 67, Dee Bost found Brian Bryant and he hit a lay-up off an inbounds pass as the buzzer sounded to give Mississippi State a 69-67 victory and for the moment, stopped the bleeding in Starkville.
After a total meltdown which included junior Arnett Moultrie blasting his team in the media, three players including Moultrie recorded double-doubles and it seems this effort on the road pleased the rising junior. "We’re enjoying this win right now and hopefully it’ll start a streak and get us going so we can make a nice run in the NCAA Tournament.”, said Moultrie.
Moultrie was asked about him questioning his teammates and as most of the time, winning seems to be a cure all. “I always knew we had it in us and it was a matter of time for when it was going to come out. Right now it’s the perfect time to come out. We need to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season. That’s what we’re doing now.”, Moultrie said.
Moultrie probably needs to pump the breaks on the "we're playing our best basketball" mantra but a win is a step in the right direction as tournament time approaches.
Now the Dawgs come back home to face Arkansas Saturday in their final home game.
The Bulldogs need to defend their home court as twenty-one wins would just about lock up an NCAA Tournament birth but more than that, it would continue to sooth the pain on this recent meltdown and hopefully give the Bulldogs added confidence heading into next weeks SEC Tournament.
Moultrie was right on one accord. This time of year is about getting hot, and playing with confidence. For Stansbury - last night could be the spark his team needed. Only time will tell.