STARKVILLE -- Breanna Richardson didn't hesitate. It didn't matter that the Mississippi State women's basketball team was leading Ole Miss by 28 points with less than five minutes remaining. It also didn't enter Richardson's mind she was seeing her first action after a hard fall to the floor against Auburn forced her to miss two games.
STARKVILLE -- The swagger is back. When Morgan William burst onto the Division I scene last season, she did it with a flair that dared defenses to stop her. She backed up that confidence with a lightning-quick first step and nifty ballhandling that helped her score in double figures in seven of her first nine games with the Mississippi State women's basketball team.
STARKVILLE -- Cross country demands consistency. Ever since Kate Mattox started competing with the Starkville High School team as a seventh-grader, she has been nothing but steady. The amount of time Mattox dedicates to training every week has been consistent and has been designed to help her compete at a high level.
STARKVILLE -- Ben Howland expected Quinndary Weatherspoon to play a big role as a freshman for the Mississippi State men's basketball team. Howland raved about the former Velma Jackson High School standout and believed he was going to make his biggest impact at guard.
STARKVILLE -- Crowds for Ole Miss-Mississippi State women's basketball games typically haven't been record-setters. Prior to last season, only two of MSU's 10 biggest crowds at Humphrey Coliseum came against Ole Miss. The same is true at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, where none of the Rebels' top 15 home crowds have been against the Bulldogs. But a MSU-record crowd of 7,326 for a 55-47 victory against Ole Miss last season at Humphrey Coliseum signaled a change. At the time, the crowd was a record for a women's basketball game in the state of Mississippi.
Don't try to claim that Ole Miss women's basketball coach Matt Insell isn't a positive man. The Rebels' third-year head coach might be the most upbeat coach in the Southeastern Conference. It's not surprising. After all, Insell guided Ole Miss to a seven-win improvement and a postseason berth last season. Entering this season, Insell had one of the youngest and most athletic teams in the SEC and was picked sixth and seventh in the SEC preseason poll by the media and league coaches, respectively. It is the first time Ole Miss has been picked in the top half of the league since it expanded to 14 teams.
STARKVILLE -- Wes Johnson understands velocity.
PHEBA -- Hard work.
STARKVILLE -- Quinndary Weatherspoon wants his team to be mentally tougher.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer used the word "difficult" Friday afternoon to describe his team's latest game.
Face-planting typically isn't a way to make an impression with a college coach.
Kaitlyn Oswalt knows she can't rely on one pitch in the circle.
STARKVILLE -- Coaches throw out platitudes all of the time in their post-game news conferences. That's why it wasn't surprising to hear Arkansas women's basketball coach Jimmy Dykes praise No. 7 Mississippi State on Sunday after his team dropped an 80-55 decision at Humphrey Coliseum. Dykes said the Bulldogs are more than a one-player team even though sophomore guard Victoria Vivians -- the team's leading scorer at 17.9 points per game -- attracts most of the attention, at least when it comes to offense.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama's Riley Norris hardly missed from outside and South Carolina struggled to hit from anywhere. Norris hit his first seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 27 points Wednesday night to lead the Alabama men's basketball team to a 73-50 upset of previously unbeaten No. 19 South Carolina.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Freshman Antonio Blakeney responded to his removal from the starting lineup by bursting out of a recent shooting slump at an opportune time. Craig Victor scored 18 points, Blakeney added 13 of his 15 points in the final eight minutes, and the LSU men's basketball team defeated Ole Miss 90-81 on Wednesday night.
Several teams in our coverage area could contend for a state championship as we enter the final four weeks of the prep basketball regular season. We should have a large group of participants headed to Jackson from the Mississippi High School Activities Association's six classifications. In the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools, the Heritage Academy and Starkville Academy boys are ranked among the best in the state. We also know the Starkville Academy girls, both teams at Oak Hill Academy, and the boys team at Columbus Christian Academy have a chance to advance, too.
STARKVILLE -- Bruce Allsup hasn't worried about his team's courage this season.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State has found it's new defensive coordinator.
STARKVILLE -- Jazzmun Holmes doesn't remember much about her performance against Auburn.
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky didn't get much scoring from its post players, but the backcourt saved the day for the 14th-ranked Wildcats in an 80-74 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday night.
1. Player of Week: Rogers helps fuel success for Columbus Lady Falcons HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. New Hope rolls past West Point to complete region play HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. MSU begins homestand by facing Arkansas COLLEGE SPORTS