STARKVILLE -- When asked Sunday about his team's opponent in the Orange Bowl, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson wasted little time in bringing up Mississippi State's most indispensable player.
STARKVILLE -- During his opening remarks at Mississippi State's Orange Bowl press conference Sunday afternoon, MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin took a few moments to stump for his football coach.
STARKVILLE -- For the first time in 28 years, the Southeastern Conference first-team All-Conference quarterback hails from Mississippi State.
OXFORD -- Nina Davis smiled and shook her head. The Baylor sophomore forward never imagined she could have this much fun on a basketball court. It made it even more satisfying that a career-best effort came on her 20th birthday nearly 90 minutes from home and with plenty of friends and family on hand to watch. Davis scored a career-high 43 points and grabbed nine rebounds Sunday to lead No. 11 Baylor to a 96-54 victory against Ole Miss before a crowd of 2,338 at Tad Smith Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Scott Stricklin is 5-for-5. He expects to be 6-for-6. Stricklin, Mississippi State's Director of Athletics, has signed football coach Dan Mullen to a contract extension in each of the past five seasons. Stricklin expects that streak to continue following Mullen's finest season in Starkville.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team will try to cap the program's most successful regular season with another piece of history. MSU (10-2) will try to accomplish that feat in its first bowl game in Miami in more than seven decades.
STARKVILLE -- A strong final stretch of the first half and a dominant second half allowed the No. 23 Mississippi State women's basketball team to roll past Southeastern Louisiana 97-36 on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 3,020 at Humphrey Coliseum. Senior center Martha Alwal had 15 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman Victoria Vivians had 15 of her 17 points in the second half. She also had nine of her 11 rebounds in the final stanza to help MSU improve to 8-0, its best start since the 2008-09 campaign. Southeastern Louisiana fell to 3-5.
BILOXI -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore defensive end Justin Lucas never worries about down and distance in a football game. "Making plays," said Lucas, who played at Aberdeen High School. "My biggest goal is making plays. Each time the ball is snapped, I hope to be where the ball is and I hope I can help make a play."
BILOXI -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore linebacker Justin Lucas said defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley had important instructions prior to the team's game against No. 2 Iowa Western C.C. on Sunday afternoon. "He told us to go out and get some turnovers," Lucas said. Lesley had no idea how well the Lions would grant his wish.
BILOXI -- The No. 1 East Mississippi Community College football team knew the time had arrived for a drive. Scoring never has been a problem for one of the nation's most prolific offenses. However, the stage was different and the stakes were much higher.
Kim Mulkey's resume includes nearly everything any player and/or coach could want. Mulkey won two national championships as a player at Louisiana Tech (1981, 1982) and won gold medals as a member of the United States' team in the 1983 Pan American Games and at the 1984 Olympics.
CALEDONIA -- Robert Mims set it all in motion. By the time it officially ended Friday morning, Northwest Mississippi Community College had gained four members of the Caledonia High School soccer program.
CALEDONIA -- Hope Burton and Zoe Saraiva are different soccer players than their sisters. Caledonia High School girls soccer coach Jason Forrester is confident of that. In fact, he laughed when he was told Burton and Saraiva probably would like that their coach said that about them.
Chris Chain didn't even consider checking the qualifying times for the Speedo Winter Junior National Championships. Ladd Chain was just like his father. Instead of looking at the short-course (yards) standards for the winter meet, Ladd first examined the long-course (meters) times and saw he had just missed qualifying for the meet.
STARKVILLE -- Timorrius Conner heard the talk all week. The Noxubee County High School junior quarterback couldn't avoid it. After all, St. Stanislaus, the opponent in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state title game, had scored 651 points and had eclipsed the 40-point mark 11 times. Sophomore quarterback Myles Brennan led the high-scoring attack with 5,502 passing yards and 61 touchdowns. Conner shrugged all of those numbers off. Coming off a sophomore season in which he threw four touchdowns and had 12 interceptions, Conner never was one to dwell on numbers.
Just like the famous Van Morrison song said, Matt Insell knew his team would have days like the one it had Thursday night. The Ole Miss women's basketball team shot 24.3 percent in the first half and trailed Western Kentucky by 24 points. The Rebels played much better in the second half, but the first 20 minutes helped set the stage for a 98-69 loss at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
STARKVILLE -- It was a classic Columbus High School-Starkville High showdown. With big play after big play, clutch shot after clutch shot, Friday night's Class 6A, Region 3 opener between the schools was intense, and it was back-and-forth.
STARKVILLE -- Kristie Williams liked what she saw. Entering her team's Class 6A, Region 3 opener against Columbus, the Starkville High School girls basketball coach was curious to see how her young team would handle what was sure to be an intense, physical battle.
NEW ORLEANS -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team erased a seven-point lead in the second half, but it couldn't make enough shots to win its first true road game of the season Saturday, losing to Tulane 59-54 at Devlin Fieldhouse.
When news first broke this summer that the state championship games were moving to Mississippi State University and Davis Wade Stadium for the 2014 season, a smile broke out.
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