Moultrie, No. 22 Mississippi St beat Auburn 91-88

DAVID BRANDT AP Sports Writer Published:

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Arnett Moultrie scored 21 points, Renardo Sidney added 17 and No. 22 Mississippi State beat Auburn 91-88 on Saturday.

Dee Bost hit three consecutive 3-pointers to open the second half, turning Mississippi State's 44-43 deficit into a 52-44 lead. The Bulldogs never trailed again, shooting 60.4 percent (29 of 48), including 63.2 percent (12 of 19) from 3-point range.

Bost finished with 15 points, make 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point line while also adding seven assists. Jalen Steele added 13 points while Rodney Hood scored 11.

Mississippi State (18-5, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) has won five of its past seven games and got off to a good start on its three-game homestand that continues on Thursday against rival Mississippi.

Auburn (13-10, 3-6) was led by Varez Ward, who scored a season-high 24 points off the bench. Kenny Gabriel added 22 and 11 rebounds.

Bost is a 6-foot-2 senior who is moving higher on Mississippi State's career record lists with each passing game, but his final season has been a bit of a struggle, especially when it concerns his shooting touch. He was making just 38.6 percent from the field this season, including 32.9 percent from 3-point range before Saturday's outburst.

Moultrie was his usual productive self, going 7 of 13 from the field and 7 of 11 from the free-throw line. He also grabbed seven rebounds.

Sidney had one of his most productive games of the season, making all five of his shots, including a 3-pointer

Mississippi State led for much of the first half, shooting 63 percent. But Auburn was nearly as good, making 53.6 percent (15 of 28) of its field goal attempts, including a 3-pointer by Gabriel at the buzzer that gave the Tigers their lead.

The Bulldogs had a week of rest coming into Saturday's game, and needed it considering injuries and ineffective bench players have limited coach Rick Stansbury's playing rotation to seven players.

Auburn's 88 points were a season high. The Tigers fought back from a 13-point deficit, but simply couldn't make enough stops on the defensive end to get a road victory.

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