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.
When East Mississippi Community College sophomore Curtis Hall saw an opening, he decided to make the most of his opportunity. Inserted into the starting lineup in the fourth game of the season, Hall has flourished, as have the Lions. The former West Point High School standout's defensive presence is a big reason why the Lions are on a 14-game winning streak, which is the third longest streak in junior college basketball.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Anthony Hickey made only 2 of 7 shots for four points in regulation against the Mississippi State University men's basketball team, setting him up nicely to deal the Bulldogs a stunning blow in the final seconds of overtime. Hickey hit a driving floater in the paint with 1.4 seconds left in the extra session, lifting LSU to a 69-67 victory against the Bulldogs on Tuesday night.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville High School boys basketball team sent a message to the rest of the teams in Class 5A that the slow-down offense won't work against it. Starkville built a 12-0 lead in the first quarter and rolled to a 77-33 victory against Lake Cormorant on Tuesday in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State tournament.
WEST POINT -- On Valentine's Day, there was hardly any love in the West Point High School gymnasium. Between the lines, the visiting Provine High School boys basketball team defeated West Point 67-48 in a Mississippi High School Activities Association first-round Class 5A North State tournament game. While there was an intense, physical nature to the game, an equally compelling storyline was the passion in the stands, which forced play to be halted three times, including once after a fight in the visitors section.
Cody Crawford wanted the ball in his hands. One game after being the focus of attention in a box-and-one defense, the West Lowndes High School standout relished an opportunity with 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation to win a game. Crawford just didn't know he would get that chance at the free-throw line a little more than a second later.
The future begins today. Yandell Harris believes the Heritage Academy girls basketball team can challenge for the top spot in the North Half. For the Lady Patriots to accomplish that goal, Harris said his players will have to learn from a 40-23 loss to Hillcrest Christian on Tuesday in the first round of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II tournament in Columbus.
The Starkville High School girls basketball season ended Tuesday with a 62-59 loss at Center Hill in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State tournament.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Playing the University of Alabama men's basketball team without its two biggest standouts, the No. 14 University of Florida had no problem making up for its missing players. Patric Young took advantage of the Crimson Tide's suspension-depleted frontcourt with 19 points and the Gators won 61-52 Tuesday night.
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