NASHVILLE, Tenn. –– Mississippi State’s hopes of making the NCAA Tournament were dashed Sunday afternoon, suffering its second heartbreaking loss of the season to the Kentucky Wildcats. An automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament slipped through Mississippi State’s grasp as it lost a late lead in regulation and endured a 75-74 overtime loss in the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game at Bridgestone Arena.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the end of Mississippi State’s statement run at the Southeastern Conference Tournament, the Bulldogs were shut out of the NCAA Tournament for not doing enough during the course of the season. Throw out the added high-RPI win against Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament semifinals Saturday. Throw out a win against NCAA qualifier Florida in the tournament Friday. Nevermind pushing No. 1 seed Kentucky to the limit in a 75-74 overtime loss in the title game Sunday.
Sharon Fanning-Otis is more anxious than nervous today. The veteran Mississippi State women’s basketball coach feels confident her team will be one of 64 announced at 6 p.m. today (ESPN) when the 64-team NCAA tournament field is announced. But Fanning-Otis has been coaching long enough to know nothing is guaranteed. And while people have told Fanning-Otis the Lady Bulldogs likely will be anywhere from a No. 7 seed to a No. 10 seed, she is eager to find out who her team will play and where it will go.
Mark White believed. The East Mississippi Community College men’s basketball team had completed its preseason preparations for the 2009-10 season and the Lions were ready to discuss their goals. The list was packed with title chances. As White examined an itinerary that included winning a MACJC North Division title, a state and a regional title and then a national championship, he knew the Lions had it in them to accomplish each one.
JACKSON — Edward Townsel rediscovered his shooting touch Saturday afternoon to help the Starkville High School boys basketball team claim the Mississippi High School Activities Association Grand Slam Championship. After being held to four points Friday in the semifinals against West Bolivar, the senior guard scored a game-high 25 points to lead Starkville past Jackson Callaway 61-45 at Mississippi Coliseum.
JACKSON — Rashad Perkins and Edward Townsel helped deliver on a promise Saturday afternoon. The seniors were instrumental in helping the Starkville High School boys basketball team beat Jackson Callaway 61-45 in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Grand Slam Championship.
JACKSON — If ever a player was instrumental in carrying his team to a victory, Rashad Perkins did it Friday afternoon. Perkins was a stalwart on both ends of the court to help the Starkville High School boys basketball team slip past West Bolivar 57-56 in the semifinals of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Grand Slam Championship at Mississippi Coliseum.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Another big lead. Another nail-biter of a second half. Another Mississippi State appearance in the finals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Always a hallmark for Rick Stansbury’s Mississippi State men’s basketball teams, defense helped push the Bulldogs to their second straight Southeastern Conference Tournament title game.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team had its best offensive performance of the season Friday night, but had to stave off a furious Florida comeback on Day 2 of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
STARKVILLE — Jamie Mitchell will be the man charged with the task of transforming Starkville High School football.
STARKVILLE — Already part of a strong sophomore class, Price Day earned the captain’s arm band and made it his mission to make the Starkville High School boys soccer team the best defensive team in the area.
STARKVILLE — Raevonne Shoemaker likes being an individual and standing out, so it makes sense she plays goalkeeper. The Starkville High junior started all of the Lady Jackets’ games this season and has been a fixture in Anna Albritton’s lineup for several years. It started when she was a seventh-grader, having to beat out two seniors and a junior to earn the starting job.
If current NCAA tournament bracket forecasts pan out, the Southeastern Conference will continue its shift down the national pecking order.
Thankfully, Lee Boyd didn’t have to choose. Too many times, teams deliver one part of the equation, leaving coaches to hope for a player or another element to provide a spark. Dillon Hawkins made sure Boyd knew right away what he was getting. The junior right-hander threw a five-inning no-hitter and received the backing of an 11-hit attack Tuesday night to lead the New Hope High School baseball team to a 13-0 victory against Columbus. The game was stopped after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
STARKVILLE — When options are few, you just have to go with what you’ve got. The Mississippi State men’s basketball team has played without solid depth in the post and at point guard this season, but has managed a Southeastern Conference Western Division title and a first-round bye in the conference tournament. Luckily, the team has avoided injuries, and hope starting point guard Dee Bost’s hip pointer doesn’t affect his status or play this weekend.
If the East Mississippi Community College baseball team needs a clutch hit, Coach Tony Montgomery wants Drew Vaughan at the plate. Montgomery has confidence in Vaughan in clutch situations with the way he’s swung the bat this season. Vaughan, a sophomore second baseman who is a 2008 graduate of Heritage Academy in Columbus, gave Montgomery a reason to have confidence in him when he belted a game-winning, two-run homer against Arkansas Baptist on Feb. 20.
STARKVILLE — Rick Stansbury doesn’t believe showing his Mississippi State men’s basketball team the game film of its loss to the University of Tennessee on Saturday will help it prepare for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. But the veteran coach hasn’t been able to get the deflating defeat off his mind.
Although the Southeastern Conference tournament begins Thursday, SEC Player of the Year ballots have been submitted to the league, which is why coaches had to answer plenty of “who’d you vote for?” questions Monday on the weekly teleconference.
STARKVILLE — Rashad Perkins didn’t want to take too much credit for Starkville High School’s run to the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state title, but it’s hard to deny his impact. Perkins had 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 blocked shots against Biloxi in the state semifinals before scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in the state final against Meridian. For his accomplishments, Perkins is The Commercial Dispatch Prep Player of the Week.
1. Ole Miss relishes opportunity against MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Starkville boys top Murrah to reach Class 6A quarterfinal round HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Veteran coaches reflect on Ole Miss-MSU rivalry COLLEGE SPORTS
5. West Lowndes bows out of girls basketball playoffs HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS