Vic Schaefer knew he could win at Mississippi State.
Columbus High School boys basketball coach Sammy Smith knows his team can deliver a better effort than it gave Tuesday night in the opening round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 3 tournament.
STARKVILLE - It was the most frustration Craig Sword has shown all season.
A challenging non-conference schedule has helped pave the way for the Mississippi State softball team to make three straight NCAA regional tournament appearances.
WEST POINT -- His team needed a play, so Willie Ousley made one. And when the New Hope High School boys basketball team needed free throws down the stretch to close a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 tournament win against Saltillo, Ousley did that, too. With New Hope protecting a one-point lead late in its first-round game Tuesday night, Saltillo had the ball and a chance to take the lead with less than 30 seconds remaining. But the Tigers were a bit out of control with the basketball and Ousley seized the opportunity.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen spent much of the preseason telling media, fans, and his players about the importance of a dominant bullpen. In an effort to continue his team's recent trend of strong bullpens, Cohen made several changes. Among them was moving senior Trevor Fitts, a starting pitcher, to closer and moving Vance Tatum, another starter, to reliever. Cohen also wanted to have senior left-hander Ross Mitchell (24-5 record entering the season) as an option out of the bullpen. So far, so good.
STARKVILLE -- Early in the second quarter, Starkville High School senior Raphael Leonard leaped through the air, snagged a loose basketball, and threw it over his back to a waiting teammate. Seconds later, the improbable save led to an easy basket. Leonard made several similar catches in a standout career at wide receiver for the school's football team. On Tuesday night, he was clearing a baseline instead of a goal line, but his effort epitomized the grit and determination of all of his teammates. A lightning-fast start carried Starkville past Columbus 62-49 in an opening-round game of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 3 tournament being at Starkville High.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School sophomore center Kelsey Jones knew her team needed a lift Tuesday night. Jones stepped up and provided it. Scoring nine points in a five-minute stretch of the fourth quarter, Jones helped Starkville work its way past Madison Central 47-28 in an opening-round game of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 3 tournament Tuesday night at Starkville High.
STARKVILLE -- Columbus High School girls basketball coach Yvonne Hairston knew her team was capable of winning its opening game in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 3 tournament. Still, there is no way she could have envisioned victory happening the way it did. Down three points in the final minute of the second half, Columbus went on a 27-0 run to defeat Northwest Rankin 69-39 in the tournament's opening game Tuesday at the Starkville High.
WEST POINT -- For the better part of two seasons, junior guard Quiyon Bailey has meant everything to West Point High School girls basketball team. West Point coach Dashmond Daniel admits the Lady Green Wave have relied on Bailey a little too much. "Last year, it seemed like the rest of our team would be a little timid about it. They'd get her the ball and just try to get out of the way," Daniel said. "She's still a great player, but the rest of our girls have realized this is a team effort, and it has made us a better basketball team."
AUBURN, Ala. -- Alabama men's basketball team captain Levi Randolph assured coach Anthony Grant everything was under control after a turnover-filled first half. Randolph scored 19 points and he and Retin Obasohan led a second-half surge to help Alabama complete a regular-season sweep of Auburn with a 79-68 victory Tuesday night.
STARKVILLE -- Breanna Richardson did a great job Sunday hiding tired legs. On a day the Mississippi State women's basketball team matched a single-season record for wins, Richardson showed why she is so important to the Bulldogs' success. The 6-foot-1 sophomore forward tied for game-high scoring honors with 16 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had three assists to lead then-No. 13 MSU to a 75-62 victory against Florida before a season-high crowd of 5,183 at Humphrey Coliseum.
STEENS -- Defense is a source of confidence for Alec Vasquez. It's not that the Columbus Christian Academy junior doesn't like to score. It's just that Vasquez believes his team has plenty of other players who can fuel the offense, so his efforts on defense help balance things. But if the Rams need Vasquez to pitch in and contribute on offense, he is more than willing to step in and lend a hand.
STARKVILLE -- Through four games, sophomore center fielder Jacob Robson owns the hottest start of any Mississippi State baseball player. He also owns the first national award for a Bulldog this season.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State softball team couldn't come all of the way back from a four-run deficit Sunday in a 4-3 loss to Illinois on the final day of the February Freezer at the MSU Softball Field. The game, which capped five games in four days, left MSU at 9-1, while Illinois improved to 3-7.
STARKVILLE -- The No. 13 Mississippi State women's basketball team shook off a slow start to roll past Florida 75-62 in a Southeastern Conference game Sunday at the Humphrey Coliseum. No. 13 MSU trailed by eight points in the early stages of the first half. The Bulldogs took control late in the first half and led 40-30 at halftime. The lead grew to as many as 21 in the second half. With the win, MSU improved to 24-4 and 9-4 in the SEC. MSU matched the school record for wins in a season with 24 and home wins with a 16-1 record at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- It's not surprising that the Mississippi State baseball team won its first four games this weekend to start the season. The only surprising part is how easily MSU did it. Starting with a 6-2 victory against Cincinnati on Friday night, MSU wasn't challenged in its four-game stretch against Cincinnati or Miami University. MSU's dominance started to take hold Saturday in 7-1 win against Miami. It built on that effort later in the day in a 19-5 win against Cincinnati. On Sunday, MSU put that exclamation point on the sweep with a 16-7 victory against Cincinnati at Dudy Noble Field.
STARKVILLE -- Nearly a full day after it put the finishing touches on a 77-74 win at Missouri on Saturday, the Mississippi State's men's basketball team staggered back into Humphrey Coliseum a little after 3 p.m. Sunday. The Bulldogs had a story to tell.
STARKVILLE - Jacob Robson wasn't surprised at all.
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Mississippi State coach Rick Ray said Saturday he doesn't care how his team wins on the road, just so long as it does. Still, he would like the Bulldogs to play better when holding a lead.
1. Insell makes Rebels' NCAA case COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Signs of growth everywhere for MSU in record win COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU baseball complete another weekend sweep COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU softball closes solid weekend in Florida COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Nineteen Bulldogs will work out at Pro Day COLLEGE SPORTS