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Arizona leads packed NCAA field with SEC threats

Posted 2/14/2013 in College Sports

Few people outside Tucson believe the University of Arizona's baseball team has a chance to repeat as national champion. Pacific-12 Conference coaches have pegged the Wildcats as middle of the pack in the conference, and their highest ranking in the national polls is No. 14. Coach Andy Lopez pays no attention to the prognosticators.



Vikings, Frazier agree to extension

Posted 2/14/2013 in Local Sports

MINNEAPOLIS -- After leading the Minnesota Vikings to a surprising playoff berth last season, coach Leslie Frazier had a contract option picked up for 2014. The Vikings announced they exercised the fourth-year option on his Wednesday, helping Frazier avoid what would have been a lame-duck season in 2013 while also giving the team some flexibility going forward.



Alabama football team suspends four players

Posted 2/13/2013 in College Sports

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Three University of Alabama football players have been charged with knocking students unconscious and stealing their wallets, while a fourth player has been charged with using a stolen debit card, officials said Tuesday.



Randolph, Cooper lead Alabama past Georgia

Posted 2/13/2013 in College Sports

ATHENS, Ga. -- Even when the shots weren't falling, the University Alabama men's basketball team knew it could count on the defense. Then, finally, the Crimson Tide knocked down a couple of key baskets -- from beyond the 3-point arc, no less. Game over.



Latham's 3-pointer saves New Hope

Posted 2/13/2013 in High School Sports

Curtaves Latham is the epitome of a tweener. At a solid 6-foot-1, the New Hope High School junior can go inside and bang with bigger bodies. But, like many post players, Latham likes to stray out to the 3-point line and launch a shot or two.



Mullen adds Gonzales to coaching staff

Posted 2/13/2013 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University football coach Dan Mullen has added another familiar face to his coaching staff. Multiple sources in the MSU football program confirmed Tuesday afternoon to The Dispatch that Billy Gonzales, a former offensive coordinator at the University of Illinois, had been hired at MSU as wide receivers coach. Gonzales, who will enter his 18th year as a Division I assistant coach, was in Starkville on Tuesday, and is expected to be introduced by the MSU administration this week, and possibly as early as today.



Starkville Academy boys complete sweep of Heritage Academy

Posted 2/13/2013 in High School Sports

JACKSON -- Starkville Academy Athletic Director Glenn Schmidt said it best when she met her school's boys basketball coach in the hallway at Hillcrest Christian School. After a 56-41 victory in the first round of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II tournament Tuesday night, Schmidt wanted Mark Alexander to appreciate the moment.



MSU men will try to stop Missouri, Pressey

Posted 2/13/2013 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Ray knows the beginning and the end of the game plan for the University of Missouri. Point guard Phil Pressey, a preseason All-American and likely first-round pick in the NBA draft, is the focal point for the Tigers on offense. The junior from Dallas will showcase his ability to control everything without having to score at 7 tonight (WCBI) when Missouri takes on MSU at Humphrey Coliseum.



Lindgren will start MSU baseball team's opener

Posted 2/13/2013 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Sophomore left-hander Jacob Lindgren will start for the Mississippi State University baseball team at 4 p.m. Friday against the University of Portland in its season opener at Dudy Noble Field.



Starkville Academy girls begin title defense

Posted 2/13/2013 in High School Sports

JACKSON -- Starkville Academy girls basketball coach Glenn Schmidt said it's a "pleasure" to coach a veteran team focused on defending three championships. Starkville Academy took the first step in that journey Tuesday night with a 74-18 victory against Lee Academy in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II, Class tournament at Hillcrest Christian School.



Grenada ends season for Columbus boys

Posted 2/13/2013 in High School Sports

BATESVILLE -- The Columbus High School boys basketball team got exactly the type of game it wanted. In an opening-round matchup at the Class 6A, Region 2 tournament, the Falcons were engrossed in a physical, defensive struggle. So many times this season, Sammy Smith's squad excelled when defense was key and every stop proved critical. On Tuesday, though, Columbus saw its season end with a 46-40 loss to Grenada at the South Panola High.



Columbus girls will play for region title

Posted 2/13/2013 in High School Sports

BATESVILLE -- Columbus High School girls basketball coach Yvonne Hairston knew the pressure of the moment was getting to her squad. Hairston never panicked, though, because she believed her troops would persevere and come through in the end. After first-half struggles, Columbus pulled away to a 60-41 victory against Grenada in an opening-round game of the Class 6A, Region 2 tournament at South Panola High.



Ray calls Steele's suspension 'selfish' act

Posted 2/12/2013 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University men's basketball Rick Ray made it clear Monday he wasn't happy with his newest suspended player. Two days after announcing the indefinite suspension of guard Jalen Steele, Ray called the act of the junior starter "selfish" and a "distraction" to a program that has lost eight straight Southeastern Conference games for the first time since 2006.



Sanders, Calmes ready to go for NHHS

Posted 2/12/2013 in High School Sports

"Painful." That's the easiest and fastest way for D.J. Sanders and Moesha Calmes to describe their collision Jan. 18 in a game at West Point High School. But as much as the New Hope High juniors can look back on the incident and smile because they are feeling like themselves, they admit it was an experience they never saw coming or want to experience again.



Columbus powerlifters qualify for North State meet

Posted 2/12/2013 in High School Sports

Brandon Brown has seen a lot of progress in seven seasons at Columbus High School. Now that he is moving on, Brown can look to the Columbus High powerlifting team's most recent meet and know he has played a part in the program's move into the upper echelon of Class 6A. That success also has played a key role in the ability of the school's football team to compete in one of the state's toughest regions and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2005.



May, MSU women earn big victory at Missouri

Posted 2/11/2013 in College Sports

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Mississippi State University women's basketball team recorded another first Sunday afternoon. Thanks to a gritty defensive effort, MSU gave coach Vic Schaefer and his coaching staff their first Southeastern Conference road victory.



Former Bulldog Moore shares journey to MLB

Posted 2/9/2013 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Tyler Moore can say he has traveled from one end of the country to the other to make his Major League Baseball debut.



Sandberg interested in playing football, baseball at MSU

Posted 2/9/2013 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Cord Sandberg doesn't want to be average at anything.



Pitching leads MSU softball to sweep

Posted 2/9/2013 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State University softball program can point to pitching as a strength this season. MSU rode a wave of pitching momentum to a doubleheader sweep of Tennessee State University and Georgia State University on Saturday in the second day of the Bulldog Kickoff Classic. MSU (3-1) allowed just four hits in 8-0 and 9-1 run-rule victories.



No. 2 Florida rolls past MSU

Posted 2/9/2013 in College Sports

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The No. 2 University of Florida men's basketball team played without forward Will Yeguete, benched starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin, and received an injury scare from Erik Murphy. It didn't matter against Mississippi State University.



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