November 1, 2008

Bulldogs rout Montevallo in exhibition

STARKVILLE, Miss., - The Mississippi State Bulldogs unveiled their 2008-09 team in the first exhibition game Saturday and gave the 2,621 fans on hand something to smile about after a tough football loss.

The Bulldogs blew out Montevallo 88-59 and had six players score in double figures.

"The thing that was more pleasing to me is I thought we shared that basketball," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "I thought that basketball flowed through a lot of people. A lot of people made extra passes and that is the thing I liked."

MSU shot 45.1-percent from the field, 24.1-percent from behind the 3-point line and 65.4-percent from the charity stripe.

Ravern Johnson led all scorers with 19 points hitting on 8-of-14 shooting including three treys.

"I just want to be one of the guys that can run the floor and get easy buckets and can get buckets when we need them," Johnson said.

Jarvis Varnado narrowly missed a triple-double logging 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots against the Falcons.

"I didn't make a post move tonight," Varnado said. "I was just running the floor. I was just scoring by running the floor and you are going to see a lot of that this year."

Romero Osby also added a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards in 13 minutes off the bench.

"His is just very active," Stansbury said. "He plays hard everyday. He is very active around that basketball. When the shot is up, he does what he is supposed to do and goes and rebounds it. He goes to offensive boards. I think he has a good skill level by himself. In time, he is going to be a terrific player for us."

Dee Bost chipped in 10 points and seven assists playing 32 minutes at the point.

"I'm feeling real comfortable," Bost said. "It started flowing after I got up and down a few times. I just got the ball and started moving around and got to the lane."

Barry Stewart chipped in 10 points, five rebounds and four assists against.

The Bulldogs only held a 36-26 lead at the half trying to knock-off some offseason rust shooting only 36.1-percent from the floor.

But State responded well in the second half filling it up for 54.3-percent in the second half.

The Falcons shot a dismal 32.4-percent on the evening and only made two 3-pointers in the game.

Marcus Lancaster and Freddy Little each had 10 points for Montevallo while Adam Krych picked up nine off the bench.

Mississippi State is now 18-2 in exhibition games under Stansbury and will conclude the preseason next Saturday with two-time defending NAIA National Champion Oklahoma City coming in at 2 p.m.

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