LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As motivation to keep the Rupp Arena crowd rowdy, University of Kentucky men's basketball coach coach John Calipari has said when the Wildcats lose home games, he won't stick around to sign autographs. Three years into his tenure, he's still signed after every home game. Terrence Jones had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 1 Kentucky to a 77-62 victory against the University of Mississippi on Saturday, the Wildcats' 50th consecutive win at home.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Trevor Lacey scored 18 points and had four steals to lead the University of Alabama men's basketball team to a 62-50 win against the University of Tennessee on Saturday. Trevor Releford had 13 points off the bench for the Crimson Tide (17-9, 6-6 Southeastern Conference), who ended Tennessee's four-game win streak. Andrew Steele had 10 points and seven assist.
The Starkville boys basketball team have guaranteed themselves an opportunity to play for the Class 5A state championship. After a dominating 82-67 victory over Provine High School Friday night in the Class 5A North Half semifinals at Forrest Hill High School, the Yellow Jackets avenged a regular season loss and showcased the talents of one of the state's premier players.
STARKVILLE -- The concern heading into the 2012 baseball campaign in Starkville was the new-look Mississippi State University hitters. Those fears were quickly put a more of an ease during an opening night 6-2 victory over Washington State University in front of 3,449 at Dudy Noble Field Friday evening.
Despite five first half three pointers, Heritage Academy fell to Hillcrest Academy 67-47 in the semifinal round of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II Tournament Friday night.
Perfection would be an assist on every basket. Glenn Schmidt has been coaching long enough to know that's probably not going to happen, but that hasn't stopped the Starkville Academy girls basketball team from insisting her players look to make one more pass.
STARKVILLE -- The word of the day for this weekend's starting pitchers is efficiency. If you need two words: throw strikes. That's how every person that toes the rubber at Dudy Noble Field will be evaluated as they begin the 2012 campaign this weekend and will attempt to get their arms ready for a vigorous conference season.
STARKVILLE -- The last thing Rick Stansbury needed was more injury questions. The 14-year coach of Mississippi State University men's basketball has already lost back-to-back games to average teams and is struggling to maintain much consistency entering the critical portion of the 2011-12 campaign.
STARKVILLE -- Down to their last out, the Bulldogs finally ran out of late-inning magic, falling 5-4 to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Friday night at the MSU Softball Stadium. The Bulldogs fell to 5-1 on the year, while the Cougars improved to 3-2.
This wasn't the way it was supposed to end.
STARKVILLE -- To his right and just above the desk in John Cohen's office sits a picture of one of coaching idols -- Hall of Fame and former University of Alabama football coach Paul W. Bryant. It isn't common to see a picture of a football coach in the office of most baseball coaches in America, but it helps explain the mind-set of Mississippi State University's fourth-year baseball coach.
STARKVILLE -- The color orange doesn't faze Kendra Grant. That's the good news, especially considering Grant is a freshman at Mississippi State University and has plenty of matchups remaining against the University of Tennessee women's basketball team. The bad news is Grant's hard work Thursday night couldn't end a streak that dates back to before she was born.
The next step is finally here. Kierra Erby vividly remembers the emotions she and her Columbus High School girls basketball teammates felt last season when their season ended with a loss to Northwest Rankin in the Class 6A North State tournament. Erby and the Lady Falcons don't want their to be any crying tonight.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama women's basketball team rocketed to a huge halftime lead against the No. 7 University of Kentucky, then held on for dear life -- and a rare upset against a ranked team. Jasmine Robinson scored 17 points and the Crimson Tide held off a big rally for a 77-75 victory Thursday night, Alabama's first against a top-25 team in more than nine years.
OXFORD -- The avalanche of offense started with Jeffery Taylor's first layup and ended on Kyle Fuller's free throw. In between was a performance by the Vanderbilt University men's basketball team that was so dominant coach Kevin Stallings couldn't help feel a little sorry for the University of Mississippi.
Brad Dickey was going to do everything he could to help extend the season for the Heritage Academy boys basketball team. Dickey would have preferred to have played an inside-outside game with center Bobby McGrath against Copiah Academy on Wednesday night, but the senior guard showed he can adapt to changing situations. With McGrath saddled with foul trouble, Dickey scored 14 points in the first half to help the Patriots build what appeared to be a safe, double-digit lead.
There are scorers and shooters. There are defensive stoppers and rebounders. Then there is the glue. Good teams can win with some of those ingredients, but championship squads need some glue. April Burney enjoys playing multiple jobs for the Starkville Academy girls basketball team.
Oak Hill Academy girls basketball coach Stan Hughey believes Class AA academy basketball is the deepest it has ever been. Fortunately, Hughey also feels his club can compete with any of those teams. Oak Hill Academy will begin its second season at 4 p.m. today when it takes on Prairie View (La.) Academy in the quarterfinals of the North AA tournament at North Delta School in Batesville.
East Oktibbeha County High School girls basketball coach Pam Roberts feels like her team is peaking at the right time. Fresh off a Class 1A-Region 5 championship and an opening-round playoff win against Piney Woods, East Oktibbeha will resume its postseason quest at 4 p.m. today against Pelahatchie at Stringer High in the South State quarterfinals.
There aren't many coaches who know winning like Pat Summitt. In the rarefied air of all-time wins (men's and women's), the University of Tennessee coach leads the pack with more than 1,089 victories, and is followed by Duke University men's coach Mike Krzyzewski, former Indiana University and Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight, and former University of Texas women's coach Jody Conradt.
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