ROTTERDAM, Netherlands - For the second time in as many nights, Mississippi State posted a double-digit victory during its 2011 European Tour.
While the Bulldogs did claim a 90-75 victory against the Rotterdam All-Stars at Top Sport Centrum in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 500-plus spectators, this time around they didn't lead from start to finish.
Just barely, though.
With 5:18 remaining in the third quarter, Richard Maxwell drained a floater in the lane to give Rotterdam a 57-56 lead. From that point, though, it was all Mississippi State .
On the Bulldogs' next possession, Dee Bost connected on a 15-footer to give MSU back the lead at 58-57, one State never relinquished.
In fact, the Bulldogs pushed their advantage to as high as 88-68 with 1:13 left on a putback by Rodney Hood, who scored nine of his 11 points in the final frame.
"We gave it all we had effort wise, but we still have a lot to improve," said MSU coach Rick Stansbury, whose team improved to 2-0 on this trip and returns to action on Wednesday in Belgium. "The effort was great, and I was pleased with our defense. I thought we fed off the crowd's excitement, which gave us a lift. Coming in, we didn't work a lot on our offense, as we decided it was best to work on our defense. They zoned us the whole game, and we just weren't sharp in attacking."
The Bulldogs, who enjoyed a tour of an U.S. military base (598th Transportation Brigade) earlier in the day, had six players score in double-digits, led by Arnett Moultrie's 16 points, eight coming in each half. Dee Bost poured in 14, while Jalen Steele came off the bench to total 13, as did starting forward Wendell Lewis. Rounding out the double-digits was freshman guard Deville Smith with 10.
"I thought we got up and down the court really good," Bost said. "We played with a lot of energy. There are some things we can work on, but considering we are playing a different style of basketball under different rules (FIBA), I thought we've done well these first two games."
For the second straight-game, MSU bolted out to a 6-0 lead and built as much as a 9-point advantage.
At halftime, the scoreboard read 45-45. However, referees and MSU officials met and determined the score was at least 48-45 in favor of the Bulldogs, although the MSU scorebook read 48-42. However, a compromise was agreed upon, thus the 48-45 advantage for Mississippi State .