FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Andy Kennedy has enjoyed coaching in Bud Walton Arena more than most. The Ole Miss men's basketball coach continued his mastery at Arkansas on Saturday night, as Stefan Moody had 18 points to lead five players in double figures in Ole Miss' 96-82 victory against No. 19 Arkansas.
Vic Schaefer believes his players understand what it takes to win in the Southeastern Conference. His Mississippi State women's basketball team showed it had the fortitude to battle through adversity and tough defenses to win its first three SEC games for the first time in program history. Those victories helped propel MSU to an 18-0 start and a spot at No. 14 in The Associated Press Top 25.
Tanita Thompson didn't need to be reminded about the significance of the Starkville High School girls basketball team's Class 6A, Region 3 game Friday night at Columbus.
Trailing by three points at the end of the first quarter Friday, the New Hope High School boys basketball team needed to respond to Oxford High's physicality. The Trojans trailed the entire quarter, had five turnovers, and were struggling to get to the basket past forward D.K. Metcalf. That's when Toddy Jennings showed up.
STARKVILLE -- I.J. Ready was true to his last name. Catching a pass from teammate Fred Thomas with 47 seconds left Saturday, the Mississippi State men's basketball team's point guard took a deep breath and fired a tie-breaking 3-pointer. Forty seconds later, Ready added two free throws to preserve a 57-54 win against Vanderbilt at Humphrey Coliseum. The win was MSU's first in the Southeastern Conference this season.
STARKVILLE -- Life can be daunting for a freshman baseball player in the Southeastern Conference. So when Ryan Gridley, a middle infielder from Macon, Georgia, arrived at Mississippi State last fall, he was looking for help. That help arrived in the form of MSU's team captain.
STARKVILLE -- One more play. With a four-point lead and 1 minute, 57 seconds remaining in double overtime, the Mississippi State women's basketball team was again on the cusp of beating LSU for a pivotal Southeastern Conference home victory. All it needed was to get one more rebound, or one to make one more free throw, or to execute one more time against the press or in its half-court offense to get over the proverbial hump. Instead, LSU trumped No. 15 MSU and made two plays in a 45-second span that sent it on its way to a 71-69 victory before a season-high crowd of 4,727 at Humphrey Coliseum.
The talk always fascinated Mary Grace Caldwell. She just wasn't sure she believed it. "You will be one of the few that plays college golf," Caldwell recalls friends and coaches telling her. Caldwell didn't take those words to heart because she believes there always is room for improvement in your sport. It wasn't until last season, when Caldwell was part of the New Hope High School girls golf team' Class II state championship squad that she embraced the notion that she could take her game to the next level.
Three hats, one mantra: Hard work. Even though Sam Taylor (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College), Josh Stillman (Northeast Mississippi C.C.), and Payton Lane (Mississippi Delta C.C.) donned different caps Thursday that signified the next steps in their baseball careers, the New Hope High School standouts acknowledged they shared a bond that helped them realize their opportunities. That hard work has been on display the past two years as part of New Hope High's back-to-back Class 5A state championships. All three don't plan on changing anything this season and later this year when they realize their opportunities to play college baseball.
OXFORD -- The Ole Miss women's basketball team closed the game with an 8-0 run in the final 2 minutes, 13 seconds Thursday to beat No. 18 Georgia 55-52 at Tad Smith Coliseum. The victory was the program's first against a team ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 since the 2010-11 season, and also snapped a 24-game losing streak to AP-ranked opponents.
STARKVILLE -- The 2014-15 season isn't about wins and losses for Mississippi State guard Craig Sword. It's about becoming himself again. That's the battle Sword, who led MSU in scoring (13.7 points per game as a sophomore, is fighting as he recovers from offseason back surgery that sidelined him for the first four games of the season. So far, the ultra-athletic, 6-foot-3, 196-pound shooting guard from Montgomery, Alabama, hasn't found his scoring touch or swagger.
OXFORD -- Keith Hornsby doesn't have a pretty 3-point shot. With a hitch in his motion, a long windup, and a low arc, Hornsby's shooting technique gets the basketball to the rim in a hurry. But the 6-foot-4 junior guard isn't interested in style. Hornsby prefers results, and he provided plenty of those Wednesday night, scoring 20 of his 23 points in the second half to lead the LSU men's basketball team past Ole Miss 75-71 at Tad Smith Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Mallory Eubanks' exploits as a high school player attracted plenty of attention from college coaches. But Eubanks, who was named NSCAA Kentucky High School Player of the Year as a senior, didn't feel she had made a name for herself at the national level as she prepared for her freshman season at Mississippi State. That could be changing very soon.
STARKVILLE -- The most telling part of Dak Prescott's press conference Wednesday, the one that saw the Mississippi State quarterback announce he would return to school for his senior season, was where he went when it was over. After making his announcement and answering questions from reporters, Prescott ducked out of the media room at MSU's Seal Football Complex and headed downstairs to a team meeting.
STARKVILLE -- Morgan William sat silently and shook her head. The Mississippi State 5-foot-5 point guard was affirming coach Vic Schaefer's assessment of her performance Sunday in a 78-62 loss at Vanderbilt. Even though William agreed with Schaefer that she didn't play well, she didn't like doing it.
STARKVILLE -- People skills can help you earn a college scholarship. Michael Sullivan's parents didn't use that language in raising their son to be a "people person," but they hoped their son wouldn't hesitate when he saw an opportunity to meet someone, especially a coach who could help him take the next step in his soccer career. It just so happens Sullivan had an interesting ice-breaker to start a memorable conversation nearly two years ago with a "stranger."
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State fans won't have to wait much longer to find out about the future of quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott, a redshirt junior from Haughton, Louisiana, who broke 12 school records this season, will hold a will hold a news conference at 1:30 today in the MSU Seal Football Complex to announce his decision. Reports from multiple media outlets Tuesday night said Prescott planned to return for his senior season.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Texas A&M men's basketball team saved its best free-throw shooting for when it mattered most. Texas A&M missed 13 free throws before sinking 11 of 14 in the final minute to fend off a late surge from Mississippi State and hold on for a 74-70 win Tuesday night.
STARKVILLE -- David McFatrich knows how to build a winning program. When Steven McRoberts hired McFatrich as an assistant volleyball coach at Central Arkansas in 2007, McFatrich knew a foundation needed to be laid to help the Sugar Bears become competitive in the Southland Conference and relevant on the national scene.
After dropping a key boys division game last week to Canton Academy, Oak Hill Academy basketball coach Brian Middleton knew that his team needed another boost. A non-division rivalry game Tuesday at Heritage Academy provided that lift, as Oak Hill Academy earned a 46-41 victory.
2. Summers helps Rebels rally past Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU women move to 22-2 by routing Vanderbilt COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Bulldogs fight for results COLLEGE SPORTS
5. New Hope girls soccer hosts second-round playoff match Saturday HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS