November 13, 2012
Bulldogs pickup first win at home
STARKVILLE, Miss., - Even with his star scorer Jalen Steele going down in the game's opening minutes, Rick Ray was able to walk off his home floor with his first career victory for Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs rallied around their fallen teammate with a 78-58 win over Florida Atlantic in the opening game of the Maui Invitational.
Steele hit the floor hard on a dunk attempt and received eight stitches on the left side of his head and was taken to the hospital at the 10:40 mark of the first half with MSU up by two. The Bulldogs ended the half on a 25-10 run and never looked back with a 43-26 lead.
"They care first and foremost about Jalen their teammate but guys knew they would have to come together and make a run," Ray said. "I think that's good for our guys that they have that in them."
State (1-1) shot 49.2-percent from the floor and were 4-of-10 behind the arc for the game.
The Bulldogs were led off the bench by Roquez Johnson with 17 points. The sophomore forward missed Friday's opener with a concussion but responded shooting 7-of-11 and grabbing five rebounds in 23 minutes.
"I feel like I'm pretty quick to be at my position at the four," Johnson said. "They've got me playing down there with the bigger guys so it's kind of easy to go around them."
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