OXFORD -- After further review, it's still incredibly difficult to win Southeastern Conference road games. That's at least true for the Mississippi State University men's basketball team. For the first time in four years, MSU players walked away from Tad Smith Coliseum with a sour look on their face after playing the University of Mississippi.
"It's pretty much a done deal." Those were Barrett Donahoe's words this morning when he was asked if he had officially become the new football coach at Heritage Academy.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team has another opportunity to damage the University of Mississippi's hope for a successful season. In the past two seasons, the Bulldogs not only have successfully retained momentum in the rivalry game, but they also have made sure to leave the Rebels in a state of disarray and unable to recover in the following weeks.
Eleven days isn't a lot of time to make progress. But Columbus High School boys basketball coach Sammy Smith liked what he saw from his team Tuesday night in a 49-41 loss to Tupelo in a Class 6A, Region 1 game at Columbus High School. In the girls game, Kiandria Patterson had 25 points and Maggie Proffitt had 19 to lead the Columbus girls to a 69-41 victory.
Junior forward Cade Lott knew right away where his Heritage Academy boys basketball team's performance Tuesday night ranked this season. "It was the best game we have played all year," Lott said. "Easily. There is no question about it. We played really well." Few in attendance at the Heritage Academy Gym disagreed. Heritage Academy scored the game's first eight points and rolled past Immanuel Christian 65-37. The teams managed a doubleheader split, as the Immanuel Christian girls earned a 51-45 victory in the opener.
Renee Ladner is sticking with the plan. Last week, the University of Mississippi women's basketball coach preached that her team was a "work in progress" and that it was developing confidence and a better understanding of what it needs to do even after a 0-3 start in the Southeastern Conference. Ladner's message hadn't changed Tuesday after the Rebels (12-6, 2-3 SEC) had won their second-straight league game, a 69-55 victory Sunday at the University of Alabama.
STARKVILLE -- Passing showers Tuesday afternoon didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the Mississippi State University softball team. The Bulldogs worked their way through their initial practice of 2012 inside the MSU Indoor Softball Complex as the first step toward the Feb. 9 season opener against the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., and the debut of new coach Vann Stuedeman.
In the long winding road of a high school basketball season, teams can learn lessons along the way. When Starkville High lost its first two games of the season at the Joe Horne Christmas Classic in Columbus, Carter fell like his team could learn falling twice, while being the state's top-ranked team.
East Mississippi Community College men's basketball coach Mark White repeatedly points out that there are several more basketball games left in the 2011-12 regular season. In the very next breath, White talks about the extreme importance of the game at hand. The Lions take on No. 17 Northeast Mississippi Community College with the early North Division lead on the line tonight.
STARKVILLE -- The first thing Rick Stansbury said in the preseason that his team has more pieces to work with in the 2011-2012. The queen on Stansbury's hardwood chess board is junior forward Arnett Moultrie because he can play in whatever style of play the opponent wishes.
STARKVILLE -- For much of the 2010-11 season, a familiar refrain prevented the Mississippi State University women's basketball team from finding its rhythm. Stuck between a lack of execution and experience and an inability to care for the basketball, MSU suffered its first losing season since the 2005-06 campaign and took a step back after making the program's first trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2009-10.
There's no denying baseball is Christian Dale's first love. Recent years have seen the Columbus High School junior spend most of his off time playing with travel baseball teams throughout the region in hopes of honing his skills and taking his game to the next level.
STARKVILLE -- When you're part of a bench effort that gets outscored 32-4, you would think there isn't a lot of positives to come from that effort. But Shamia Robinson is trying to make the most of every minute she is on the floor for the Mississippi State University women's basketball team.
STARKVILLE -- Diamber Johnson knows what it's like to be targeted. As the leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference entering the weekend, the Mississippi State University senior guard has seen her share of defensive attention this season. On Sunday, the No. 19 University of Georgia women's basketball team's game plan was to take Johnson out of the equation and to make everything she attempted difficult.
STARKVILLE -- With football coach Dan Mullen in the stands, Mississippi State University senior point guard Dee Bost showcased his vertical passing abilities. After Bost hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Bulldogs take the lead back, MSU had 94 feet to maneuver with 3.4 seconds left. Bost unleashed a football pass underneath the University of Alabama's basket that replicated a perfect football wheel route to senior guard Brian Bryant, who caught the pass in stride at halfcourt and went in for the game's final basket and was fouled to lift No. 20 MSU to a 56-52 victory Saturday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- While he continues to wait to see which NBA team will need a 6-foot-11 center later in the season, Erick Dampier was honored Saturday at his alma mater before the Mississippi State men's basketball team's 56-52 victory against the University of Alabama. Dampier, who was a significant member of the 1996 Final Four team and was the 10th overall selection by the Indiana Pacers in the 1996 NBA draft, was recognized at center court before the game Saturday afternoon as a part of MSU's 100 years of basketball season-long promotion.
STARKVILLE -- In a heavyweight Southeastern Conference basketball battle of the big men Saturday afternoon, the University of Alabama men's basketball team didn't have an answer for Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie. Moultrie scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, posting a conference-best ninth double-double, to help No. 20 MSU sneak past Alabama 56-52 in the Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University All-America pitcher Paul Maholm, who recently became the newest member of the Chicago Cubs baseball organization, will be the featured speaker at the 2012 "First Pitch/Meet the Team" Baseball Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 11.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama will celebrate the football team's 2011 National Football Championship at 2 p.m. Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The event will feature the Crimson Tide football team and football coach Nick Saban. The celebration will last approximately one hour and admission is free.
The most successful New Hope High School boys basketball teams of recent memory have thrived on a swarming work ethic that suffocates opponents. That mentality has been passed from team to team -- like a prized possession -- that is to be nurtured and respected because it can lift a squad out of the deepest doldrums.
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