STARKVILLE — Armelie Lumanu is the perfect player for the 2009-10 Mississippi State women’s basketball team. The senior from Kinshasa, Congo, is adept at slashing to the basket from the wing or rolling off screens to create opportunities for her teammates. The 5-foot-9 guard/forward is equally proficient posting guards up on the block and twisting and turning to get a shot off. Most importantly, Lumanu is comfortable with the basketball in her hands and directing the Lady Bulldogs’ offense.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State women’s basketball team received a passing grade from nearly everyone in its first game as a ranked team in six seasons. The only person who wasn’t overwhelmed by No. 25 MSU’s 81-35 victory against Utah Valley University before a crowd of 639 at Humphrey Coliseum was coach Sharon Fanning-Otis.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State men’s basketball could have more players in street clothes tonight than dressed out in basketball jerseys. Dee Bost, Elgin Bailey, Shaun Smith, Twany Beckham, and Riley Benock are out or doubtful because of injuries for MSU’s game against Southeastern Louisiana at 7 tonight at Humphrey Coliseum.
MABEN — Ledrick Patterson knew it wasn’t going to be easy taking over for Johnthan Banks at quarterback for the East Webster High School football team. What made it especially tough for Patterson was he had never played the position. He wasn’t even listed as a quarterback on the preseason roster.
Jamayel Smith’s situation in the United Football League is unique. Sure, the former Mississippi State wide receiver believes he belongs there, but as a player with the New York Sentinels in the first-year league, he feels a little out of place.
ABERDEEN — Perry Liles knows the football programs at Charleston and Aberdeen high schools have plenty of similarities. As a former coach at both schools, Liles had plenty of talented players on both teams. He also grew to be accustomed to a hard-charging style of play at each school. Given Charleston and Aberdeen have so many things in common, don’t ask Liles to tell you which team will win at 7 tonight when they meet in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A North Half state semifinal at Lester Miley Stadium.
WEST POINT — Noxubee County and Aberdeen should feel special. The 2009 edition of Mississippi Sports Magazine singled out the Tigers in Class 4A and the Bulldogs in Class 3A as top teams in each classification in its preseason issue. In Class 5A, Pearl and Oxford join Wayne County, West Jones, D’Iberville, and Brookhaven, a team to keep an eye on, were listed as the state’s top teams.
If things go according to plan for Sammy Smith, Michael Hall will play a key role this season in helping the Columbus High School boys basketball team come together. Hall showed again Tuesday night how he can be a ring leader, scoring a game-high 22 points in a 71-44 victory against East Oktibbeha. Chy Cunningham earned game-high scoring honors with 26 points to lead the Columbus High girls to a 62-48 victory against East Oktibbeha.
STARKVILLE -- Raevonne Shoemaker takes her role as goalkeeper seriously. The Starkville High School junior knows she has to be focused on a match at all times and has to know what her teammates are doing on the field. “(Goalkeepers) have to be the strong foundation,” Shoemaker said. Shoemaker has only allowed one goal this season for the Lady Yellow Jackets and has recorded three shutouts, including Tuesday’s 2-0 home victory against New Hope High School.
ABERDEEN — The smile on Jameika Hoskins’ face Tuesday equaled relief. Hoskins wasn’t as relaxed last Thursday, and Aberdeen High School girls basketball coach Latorrence Bivens could see it in her eyes. After Hoskins scored 22 points in a victory against Baldwyn, she admitted to Bivens she “had purple and gold on her mind.” Those colors helped spell relief five days later.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State junior forward Kodi Augustus made a public apology Tuesday afternoon for comments he made following Saturday’s season-opening 88-74 loss to Rider University. After the game, Augustus voiced his displeasure about lack of playing time and criticized MSU coach Rick Stansbury by saying, “I talked to my dad. He said we got out-coached. I don’t know.” Augustus said that statement was made out of frustration and was sorry for his choice of words.
SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College football team has accepted an invitation to play Arizona Western College in the Mississippi Bowl. The second-annual contest will be played Dec. 6 in Biloxi. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at 6,000-seat Biloxi Indian Stadium. General admission tickets are available for $8 per ticket by ordering online at www.mississippibowl.com or by calling the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Foundation Office at 601- 928-6344. Tickets will be $10 at the gate on the day of the game.
Cathy Nixon knows about transitions. While it’s common for NCAA Division II programs to make the jump to Division I, a junior college never had tried to leap from the NJCAA ranks to Division I competition. So when Utah Valley University women’s basketball coach Cathy Nixon uses words like “amazing” and “remarkable” to describe the school’s journey, they don’t come close to illustrating what she and the program have overcome to reach the highest level of NCAA play.
Surframe Gilleylan had waited patiently for an opportunity. The senior linebacker on the University of West Alabama footballl team got an opportunity Saturday and made the most of it. Gilleylan had a season-high and team-leading seven tackles to help West Alabama beat Albany State 24-22 in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.
STARKVILLE — Linebacker Jamar Chaney and wide receiver Brian McRae wanted the same thing for their senior season at Mississippi State. After seeing their junior seasons end due to injuries, they returned hoping to win a Southeastern Conference championship. It didn’t happen.
STARKVILLE — The pieces continue to come together for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team. An unexpected one was added to the mix Monday when MSU landed at No. 25 in the first Associated Press Top 25 ranking of the regular season.
ABERDEEN — One, two, three — Release. It sounds simple, and it doesn’t always go according to plan, but Aaron Andrews is all about being on time. When you’re the quarterback of a high-scoring offense like the Aberdeen High School football team, you have to be precise with your movements and read and deliver the football at the right times.
RIPLEY — All season long, Aberdeen High School football coach Chris Duncan has been looking for a “complete” game from his Bulldogs. Although his team had compiled an impressive 10-2 mark heading into Friday’s 3A playoff matchup at Ripley, the Bulldogs, according to Duncan, had failed to click on all cylinders through their first 12 outings.
Michael Bradley seldom is speechless when he talks about football. But the nature of his team’s come-from-behind 34-33 victory against Callaway on Friday night in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North Half State playoffs had the fourth-year coach searching for words. When Bradley got going, though, his words did the game — and his players — justice.
MACON — In high school football, as with any sport, winning can be so contagious that it takes a heavy dose of reality — a loss — to stop the momentum. Facing a 9-2 Senatobia team in the second round of the Class 4A North Half State playoffs, Noxubee County knew the Warriors’ potent passing attack could stop their bid to repeat as state champions.
2. Ole Miss opens season tonight against Boise State COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU on guard for Southern Miss passing game COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Columbus faces Noxubee County in season opener HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. MSU soccer learns about leadership COLLEGE SPORTS