STARKVILLE -- Armed with a mind-set to "finish" this season, the Starkville Academy baseball team had to like what it saw Wednesday from pitcher Ryan McKell. The senior threw a five-hit shutout to lead Starkville Academy to a 10-0 victory against Oak Hill Academy in a five-inning contest at Volunteer Field.
STARKVILLE -- Brittany Bell loves to play softball. An injury that forced her to miss almost all of the 2011 season severely strained that love. But Bell kept believing, hoping, praying, and rehabilitating. Now, she is ready to make up for lost time. Checking in with a team-best .550 batting average, the Brandon, Fla., native is going home this weekend. This time, she won't accept encouragement from friends back home to keep hoping. Instead, she wants to help the Mississippi State University softball team make an impact at the annual NFCA Leadoff Classic, which begins Friday at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Earlier in the season, a big deficit might have spelled disaster for the University of Tennessee men's basketball team. Now that the Volunteers have had a chance to absorb coach Cuonzo Martin's unflappable attitude, it's nothing more than a challenge to overcome. Tennessee rallied from a 13-point deficit Wednesday night to beat the University of Mississippi 73-60 on to hang on to a share of fourth place in the Southeastern Conference with three games left in the regular season.
The Starkville Academy girls basketball team stayed alive, while the Oak Hill Academy girls basketball team's season ended Wednesday night in state tournament action in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools.
Van Chancellor understands the challenge that awaits the next Mississippi State University women's basketball coach.
Inside out or outside in. Either way you diagram it, Anna Lea Little and Sallie Kate Richardson can make you pay. Their play is part of the reason the Starkville Academy girls basketball has forced the school to clear space in its trophy case.
STARKVILLE -- Three words were all Michael Kidd-Gilchrist needed to say to his coach when given the assignment of Dee Bost at halftime. "I said you got him and he said, 'I got it,' " University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari said. Kidd-Gilchrist's defensive performance was part of a second-half effort that helped top-ranked Kentucky rally and pull away for a 73-64 victory against Mississippi State University on Tuesday before an announced crowd of 10,213 at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Another late-game situation, another missed opportunity for the Mississippi State University men's basketball program. The result was a a fourth-straight loss that damaged the Bulldogs' push for a bid to the NCAA tournament.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- JaMychal Green has already boosted the mood of the University of Alabama men's basketball team, even though the All-Southeastern Conference forward won't be allowed back on the court for at least one more game. Crimson Tide freshman Trevor Lacey said the suspension of Green and Tony Mitchell -- the team's two most experienced players -- cast a pall over practices for a while. Green returned Monday, while Mitchell is out for the rest of the season.
STARKVILLE -- After listening to Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury talk Monday about the top-ranked opponent his team will face tonight, you would think the 14-year veteran planned to carry a slingshot and pebble in his back pocket. Stansbury, who is from Campbellsville, Ky., knows the challenge and discussed the enormity of the task MSU will face at 8 tonight (ESPN) when it plays host to the No. 1 University of Kentucky (26-1, 12-0 Southeastern Conference) at Humphrey Coliseum.
Sharon Fanning-Otis always thought she would retire in her mid-50s. As one season turned into another and she slowly approached her 60th birthday, Fanning-Otis realized there probably never was going to be a perfect time to step away from the game she loved. On Monday, Fanning-Otis made a decision that has been years in the making when she announced she will retire as Mississippi State University's women's basketball coach at the end of this season.
On a night where few defensive plays were routine, Starkville Academy made two great defensive stops when it needed them most. Center fielder Drew Pellum made a diving catch to end one threat, while pitcher Hunter Bolin made a game-ending snag to help the Starkville Academy baseball team beat Heritage Academy 4-3 in the season opener for both teams Monday night at Trip Carson Field.
WEST POINT -- Tori Ellis isn't the loudest person on the Oak Hill Academy girls basketball team. The multi-sport standout also isn't the most aggressive player on the squad. But the senior guard understands the urgency or her final prep basketball season and how her teammates look to her to set the tone.
AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn University men's basketball players gathered on the court and vowed not to let this game slip away. Frankie Sullivan scored 16 points and Kenny Gabriel added 15 points and nine rebounds to help Auburn hold off a Mississippi State Univerity comeback attempt in a 65-55 victory on Saturday night.
STARKVILLE -- Another loss, another positive comment for the Mississippi State women's basketball team. Unfortunately, the comments the Lady Bulldogs are earning won't improve their record or they chances to keep their season alive after the Southeastern Conference tournament. MSU (14-12, 4-9 SEC) will try to rectify that problem at 2 p.m. today when it plays the University of Arkansas (19-6, 8-5) at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark.
JACKSON -- The Class 5A North State boys basketball championship trophy will stay in Jackson in 2012. Even without its leading scorer Malik Newman, the Callaway High School boys basketball team used an emphatic second-half run to beat Starkville 59-48 just 10 days before both teams head to the state finals at the Mississippi Coliseum.
When the Heritage Academy boys basketball team needed a lift Saturday night, junior David Hardy was ready to answer the call. After big man Bobby McGrath landed in early foul trouble, Hardy saw extended playing time and delivered in a 67-59 loss to Washington School in the third-place game of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II tournament in Columbus.
Don't lose focus if Tiffany Huddleston is guarding you. If you look away or leave the ball unprotected for an instant, the Starkville Academy junior is liable to poke it away and race to the other end and score. Few athletes can do that on the soccer field and on the basketball court. But Huddleston's ability to round back into All-State form is just another reason why the Starkville Academy girls basketball team can say today it is a champion.
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As motivation to keep the Rupp Arena crowd rowdy, University of Kentucky men's basketball coach coach John Calipari has said when the Wildcats lose home games, he won't stick around to sign autographs. Three years into his tenure, he's still signed after every home game. Terrence Jones had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 1 Kentucky to a 77-62 victory against the University of Mississippi on Saturday, the Wildcats' 50th consecutive win at home.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Trevor Lacey scored 18 points and had four steals to lead the University of Alabama men's basketball team to a 62-50 win against the University of Tennessee on Saturday. Trevor Releford had 13 points off the bench for the Crimson Tide (17-9, 6-6 Southeastern Conference), who ended Tennessee's four-game win streak. Andrew Steele had 10 points and seven assist.
1. Schaefer, MSU are 'heartbroken' no longer LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Starkville High's Perry shows his versatility HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Noxubee County will miss Patterson LOCAL COLUMNS