STARKVILLE -- Fans in Starkville are wondering by the Mississippi State University baseball team was absent from two major preseason polls released this week. MSU, which finished 15th in the final USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll last season, wasn't ranked in the 2012 preseason coaches' poll or the Baseball America preseason rankings despite returning 14 of 16 pitchers who took the mound last season. "(The rankings are) not what we're focused on or worried about," MSU coach John Cohen said Thursday.
STARKVILLE -- As much as she tried, Diamber Johnson wasn't herself. Up since 5:30 a.m. Thursday to take care of her mother, Adella, who suffered a heart attack, the Mississippi State University senior guard didn't realize she hadn't eaten anything all day until she returned to Humphrey Coliseum later in the day.
The Starkville High School boys soccer players want a do-over, while the Starkville High girls want an encore. The Jackets and Lady Jackets will be back in action Saturday when they take on Oxford in second-round Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoff matchups. The girls will play at noon, while the boys will follow at a 2 p.m. at the Oxford High football stadium.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Tennessee women's basketball team was determined to bounce back from the second-worst loss in program history. With a matchup against slumping Alabama, it was an easy task. Shekinna Stricklen scored 14 points and Glory Johnson added 13 to lead the No. 7 Lady Volunteers to an 86-56 win against the Crimson Tide on Thursday night.
STARKVILLE -- Fans of the No. 18 Mississippi State University men's basketball program are getting used to Wednesday night's script. In what has been a repeated set of circumstances in a home games in which it is favored, MSU survived an early and late charge to hang on for a 76-71 victory against LSU.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State senior Dee Bost has been called a shoot-first point guard. Bost put that label aside Wednesday night and became more of a facilitator in No. 18 MSU's 76-71 victory against LSU at Humphrey Coliseum. Bost, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, was three rebounds and a point from his first career triple-double. The Bob Cousy Award finalist finished with nine points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds in 40. He played the entire game because MSU is without backup point guard DeVille Smith.
STARKVILLE -- Kendra Grant is accustomed to be a target. When you're a "shooter" it's difficult to blend into a game or sneak through the lane or rub off a screen to get an open shot. But Grant learned how to outfox the toughest scouting reports in a standout career at Richland High School. Nineteen games into her first season as a member of the Mississippi State University women's basketball team, Grant is learning every day and is showing she is just as capable of being a "shooter" in one of the nation's top Division I conferences.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore guard Deon Bedford has quite a collection of rings. "We've won the past two region championships, and I am proud of both of those rings," Bedford said. "The goal this year is to get a third. The pressure has been us on all year as two-time defending champions. We relish that pressure, and look forward to the challenge every time we play."
OXFORD -- The University of Mississippi men's basketball team isn't very good at shooting 3-pointers and even worse at the free-throw line, serious flaws that have made scoring points a struggle during stretches this season. But the Rebels do have some muscle -- and they like to flex it. That's been enough to keep Ole Miss (13-6, 3-2) in the top half of the Southeastern Conference entering a home game at 6 tonight (ESPN2) against the No. 14 University of Florida (15-4, 4-1).
STARKVILLE -- One week ago, Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury knocked the table with his fist twice and looked to the sky when asked about his team dodging injuries during the 2011-12 season. It was almost as if the 14-year veteran knew he had sealed the Bulldogs' fate.
Neither Daisha Williams nor Jacolby Mobley have nicknames. They did their best Tuesday night to secure monikers that fit their versatile abilities. Williams scored 16 points and complemented Kiandria Patterson (game-high 26 points) and Maggie Proffitt (14) in ideal "third wheel" status to help the Columbus High School girls basketball team beat Starkville 80-56. Mobley, true to his "area code" shooting stroke, tied Gavin Ware for game-high scoring honors with 16 points to lead the Starkville High boys to a 54-36 win.
WEST POINT -- West Point High School boys basketball coach Brad Cox admitted to having no clue why his team got off to the start it did Tuesday night against New Hope. After jumping out to an 18-3 lead and coasting to an 82-59 victory in a Class 5A, Region 2, District 1 game, Cox would like to see starts like that more often.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School boys soccer coach Brian Bennett busted into a big smile after his team's second goal Tuesday night. That's when the Yellow Jackets knew they were on their way to a victory in the opening-round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs.
STARKVILLE -- Jalen Steele has had a lot of people tell him he can't do something. Between his hometown university not wanting him, the coach he initially signed with getting fired, and the tear of the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee, the 6-foot-3 guard has overcome some bumps along the way.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School senior soccer player Christine Mazzola remembers her eighth grade year when the Lady Jackets advanced to the second round of the North State playoffs. "I still have a t-shirt," Mazzola said. "Since this is my last season, I want to do a little better this time around." Starkville will again try to begin a postseason run today when the Lady Jackets play host to Center Hill in a first-round Class 5A playoff matchup. Match time is 5 p.m. at the Starkville High football stadium. The Starkville and Center Hill boys will also follow with a first-round playoff match, slated for a 7 p.m. start.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State freshman point guard DeVille Smith has checked into a Jackson area hospital for the second time this season after suffering from symptoms of headaches and dizziness. Mississippi State basketball team spokesperson Gregg Ellis confirmed Monday that the 5-foot-10 guard entered the hospital Friday and Bulldogs head coach Rick Stansbury said Smith will "absolutely" not participate in either of MSU's contests this week (vs. LSU Wednesday and at Florida Saturday).
STARKVILLE -- Actions, not talk, dictate success. So when the Mississippi State University women's basketball team's starting five crouched in a defensive stance and slapped the Humphrey Coliseum floor with the palms of their hands 21 seconds into their game Sunday against Auburn University, you had to believe the Lady Bulldogs were prepared to deliver a focused effort.
Leadership is crucial when you're building a program. A year ago, Mary Nagy helped the New Hope High School girls soccer team establish that foundation as it won its first playoff game and advanced to the second round before losing to state power Ridgeland.
Transformations typically don't happen overnight. But Columbus High School boys soccer coach Ben Moore has watched this season as a team that won one game in 2010-11 has won six this season and has acc
STARKVILLE -- North Pike High School defensive end A.J. Jefferson pledged his services to Mississippi State University late Saturday night. This news was first reported by the 247Sports.com site that covers the MSU program on Sunday.
1. Columbus Speedway reopens Nov. 12 LOCAL SPORTS
2. West Alabama Roundup: Aliceville wins eighth straight HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Mississippi Roundup: West Point, West Lowndes post critical region wins HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Noxubee County beats Caledonia to extend region win streak HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. New Hope gets lift with home win over Lewisburg HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS