Forget 5-hour Energy. If you ever need a pick-me-up, try watching tapes of basketball teams scrambling all over the court in pressure defenses because they're bound to get your blood pumping. After playing more than 24 minutes of face-contorting, rim-busting basketball, the Starkville Academy girls basketball team turned to pressure defense Friday afternoon in a last-ditch effort to keep its hope for a Class AAA state title alive.
STARKVILLE -- This is not the situation Rick Stansbury wanted to be in entering one of the most critical games of the season. The Mississippi State University men's basketball team has lost four games in a row and likely will be without freshman starter Rodney Hood when it takes on the University of Alabama at 5 p.m. today (ESPN) in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
STARKVILLE -- Successful basketball teams excel when players perform their roles. Sometimes the same can be said about families. In the case of the Starkville High School boys basketball team's Mike and Steve Brand, each knows one the other quite well, and the brothers complement each other quite well on and off the court.
PELAHATCHIE -- The Starkville Academy girls basketball team defeated Jackson Academy 34-30 on Friday in the semifinals of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA state tournament at East Rankin Academy.
STARKVILLE -- The new leader of the Mississippi State University baseball program is a junior college transfer that just arrived on campus in August. Mitch Slauter has earned the controls of the Bulldogs (2-1) defense and pitching staff after both starting catchers from last season graduated leaving a perceived hole in a critical element to MSU's success under coach John Cohen.
ABERDEEN -- Aberdeen High School has not lost back-to-back basketball games during the 2011-12 season. That statistic will be put to the test Saturday when the Bulldogs (26-6) face Kemper County (26-8) in a semifinal game Saturday at the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A state tournament.
ABERDEEN -- Aberdeen boys basketball coach Roy Hazzle stands on the baseline of Roy Hazzle Gymnasium barking out pointers to four different players on one offensive set. The 59-year-old Aberdeen native is working just as hard as he did on his first day of employment, Halloween of 1977. The hard work continues to pay off as the Bulldogs are headed back to the Mississippi Coliseum to make a sixth-ever appearance in the Mississippi High School Activities Association's state championship tournament.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Mississippi State could never get the offense going Thursday night as the Lady Bulldogs dropped a 79-45 decision to Florida in a Southeastern Conference women's basketball game played in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State University men's basketball program arguably got the best news possible on the injury of freshman wing player Rodney Hood.
STARKVILLE -- Jerica James has had her share of auditions this season. Some have been cameos -- one-minute appearances in which she has entered a game to give a teammate a break -- while others have stretched into double digits, including a performance in an overtime victory against the University of Mississippi.
STARKVILLE -- Armed with a mind-set to "finish" this season, the Starkville Academy baseball team had to like what it saw Wednesday from pitcher Ryan McKell. The senior threw a five-hit shutout to lead Starkville Academy to a 10-0 victory against Oak Hill Academy in a five-inning contest at Volunteer Field.
STARKVILLE -- Brittany Bell loves to play softball. An injury that forced her to miss almost all of the 2011 season severely strained that love. But Bell kept believing, hoping, praying, and rehabilitating. Now, she is ready to make up for lost time. Checking in with a team-best .550 batting average, the Brandon, Fla., native is going home this weekend. This time, she won't accept encouragement from friends back home to keep hoping. Instead, she wants to help the Mississippi State University softball team make an impact at the annual NFCA Leadoff Classic, which begins Friday at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Earlier in the season, a big deficit might have spelled disaster for the University of Tennessee men's basketball team. Now that the Volunteers have had a chance to absorb coach Cuonzo Martin's unflappable attitude, it's nothing more than a challenge to overcome. Tennessee rallied from a 13-point deficit Wednesday night to beat the University of Mississippi 73-60 on to hang on to a share of fourth place in the Southeastern Conference with three games left in the regular season.
The Starkville Academy girls basketball team stayed alive, while the Oak Hill Academy girls basketball team's season ended Wednesday night in state tournament action in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools.
Van Chancellor understands the challenge that awaits the next Mississippi State University women's basketball coach.
Inside out or outside in. Either way you diagram it, Anna Lea Little and Sallie Kate Richardson can make you pay. Their play is part of the reason the Starkville Academy girls basketball has forced the school to clear space in its trophy case.
STARKVILLE -- Three words were all Michael Kidd-Gilchrist needed to say to his coach when given the assignment of Dee Bost at halftime. "I said you got him and he said, 'I got it,' " University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari said. Kidd-Gilchrist's defensive performance was part of a second-half effort that helped top-ranked Kentucky rally and pull away for a 73-64 victory against Mississippi State University on Tuesday before an announced crowd of 10,213 at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Another late-game situation, another missed opportunity for the Mississippi State University men's basketball program. The result was a a fourth-straight loss that damaged the Bulldogs' push for a bid to the NCAA tournament.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- JaMychal Green has already boosted the mood of the University of Alabama men's basketball team, even though the All-Southeastern Conference forward won't be allowed back on the court for at least one more game. Crimson Tide freshman Trevor Lacey said the suspension of Green and Tony Mitchell -- the team's two most experienced players -- cast a pall over practices for a while. Green returned Monday, while Mitchell is out for the rest of the season.
STARKVILLE -- After listening to Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury talk Monday about the top-ranked opponent his team will face tonight, you would think the 14-year veteran planned to carry a slingshot and pebble in his back pocket. Stansbury, who is from Campbellsville, Ky., knows the challenge and discussed the enormity of the task MSU will face at 8 tonight (ESPN) when it plays host to the No. 1 University of Kentucky (26-1, 12-0 Southeastern Conference) at Humphrey Coliseum.
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