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Moultrie lifts No. 22 Mississippi State over Auburn

Feb 5, 2012 - 1:42 AM Starkville, MS (Sports Network) - Arnett Moultrie scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lift No. 22 Mississippi State to a 91-88 win over Auburn.

Renardo Sidney had 17 points, Dee Bost added 15 points with seven assists and Jalen Steele had 13 points off the bench for the Bulldogs (18-5, 5-3 SEC), who bounced back from a loss to Florida last Saturday.

"We had things going a lot of different ways tonight," said Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury. "We had five guys in double figures and you'll win a bunch of games if you get scoring from that many people."

Kenny Gabriel had 22 points and 11 rebounds while Frankie Sullivan added 16 points for the Tigers (13-10, 3-6), who have dropped three of four. Varez Ward had 24 points and five assists in the loss.

Near the midway point of the second half, the Bulldogs held a 13-point lead on a Moultrie dunk, but the Tigers got a layup and three-pointer from Sullivan and Allen Payne followed with a dunk to make it a 68-62 game.

Two free throws from Gabriel with nine minutes to play made it a 69-64 game, but Moultrie and Sidney followed with a pair of free throws each.

It stayed close the rest of the way and Payne made it a four-point game on a jumper late in the contest as the score was 88-84, but Shaun Smith made his two from the line.

A quick layup from Sullivan was followed by a Moultrie free throw and Sullivan was then fouled on a three-pointer, but he made just two of his three shots and it was 91-88 with 0.2 seconds to play.

The Tigers led early, but Rodney Hood hit a three-pointer and Moultrie followed with a pair of baskets for a 16-12 lead seven minutes in.

The game stayed close for the rest of the half, but Payne hit a pair of free throws and Gabriel made a three-pointer late in the half to give Auburn a 44-43 lead at the break.

Bost opened the second half with three straight three-pointers to give Mississippi State a lead it didn't relinquish the rest of the game.

Game Notes

Mississippi State hosts Ole Miss on Thursday...Auburn welcomes Alabama on Tuesday...Auburn still leads the series, 71-65, but the Bulldogs have taken 11 of the last 12 home encounters against the Tigers.