STARKVILLE -- On the heels of Mississippi State's punting game posting its best statistical season of the decade, sophomore punter Baker Swedenburg knows he needs to perform well. The Heritage Academy graduate sat behind Heath Hutchins in each of the past two seasons and watched him drop 24 punts inside the 20-yard line and finish 29th nationally in net punting last season. The Bulldogs allowed just 5.5 yards per punt return last season, which ranked third in the league. MSU's punting game and a ball-control offense often put its defense in favorable positions with long fields to defend.
The work has only started. That's the approach Sharon Fanning-Otis took a day after her Mississippi State women's basketball saw its season end Friday in a 69-55 loss to Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
OXFORD -- In a season characterized by inconsistency, the University of Mississippi men's basketball team appears to have gotten hot again at the right time. Chris Warren scored 24 points and handed out nine assists as the Rebels connected on 14 3-point shots to defeat the University of Arkansas 84-74 Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- JaMychal Green, Charvez Davis, and University of Alabama men's basketball team climbed out of a recent funk in a big way. Green had 19 points and nine rebounds, Davis scored 17 and the Crimson Tide hung on for a 65-57 win against Georgia on Saturday to rebound from a 27-point humbling at No. 14 Florida and boost its NCAA tournament hopes.
STARKVILLE -- James Carmon isn't afraid to say he has money on his mind. Most players entering their senior season are contemplating what they need to do to make it to the NFL. Most seniors aren't switching positions.
STARKVILLE -- Dan Mullen is all about keeping things fresh. The Mississippi State football coach doesn't want players to get complacent after the team went 9-4 and thrashed the University of Michigan in the Gator Bowl last season.
STARKVILLE -- Sometimes players have to take it upon themselves to elevate their play and be "the guy." Mississippi State men's golf coach Clay Homan is waiting for one of his golfers to grab the torch and to run with it.
STARKVILLE -- Just three days after their seniors came up big in the most important win of the season, the Mississippi State men's basketball team will honor the group at 1 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) when it plays host to the University of South Carolina.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Diamber Johnson scored her team's final 11 points Thursday night to lead the 11th-seeded Mississippi State women's basketball team to a 49-47 victory against sixth-seeded Auburn in a Southeastern Conference Tournament opening-round game at Bridgestone Arena.
STARKVILLE -- The student turned teacher has left a model for her teammates to follow. At 9 tonight, Mary Kathryn Govero will try to extend her career at least one more game when she leads the 11th-seeded Mississippi State women's basketball team against sixth-seeded Auburn (15-14) in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Ravern Johnson has little doubt the Mississippi State men's basketball team has talent on par with any other. The senior is doing his best to add a touch of consistency in an otherwise inconsistent season for the Bulldogs.
AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn University men's basketball team was halfway to another lopsided loss to the University of Mississippi. Their shots weren't falling while Dundrecous Nelson and the Rebels couldn't seem to miss. Then Kenny Gabriel scored 15 of his career-high 24 points in the second half and Chris Denson hit four straight free throws in the final 35 seconds Wednesday to help Auburn cap a 76-73 comeback.
HATTIESBURG -- After Preston Purifoy's 3-pointer rolled around the basket and fell through the hoop for what proved to be the game-winner, an understandably raucous celebration by the University of Alabama at Birmingham men's basketball team followed.
STARKVILLE -- Wendell Lewis is easily the most athletic post player on the Mississippi State men's basketball team. Even with heralded center Renardo Sidney turning heads with his inside-out offensive game, the quick-footed, explosive Lewis can cause comparable damage on defense and on the boards. He just hasn't showcased his skills consistently.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- As Dee Bost drove the court with less than 10 seconds on the clock, Wendell Lewis knew he had to be in position under the basket to score off either an assist or a rebound. He also knew he had little room for error.
OXFORD -- The University of Mississippi's Chris Warren darted to his left and then sprinted down the lane toward the basket, taking on all five Alabama defenders as he flew through the air for an acrobatic layup. For most players, it would have been a bad decision. For Warren, it's another two points.
STARKVILLE -- Chris Stratton's scoreless streak continued Saturday in the Mississippi State baseball team's 5-3 victory against Belmont. The sophomore earned his second straight win of the season after giving up four hits and no runs in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out 13 and sat down the Bruins in order in five innings.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team can't catch a break. Overshadowed in the Bulldogs' 84-82 loss to LSU on Wednesday was freshman guard Jalen Steele's knee injury, which was determined to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus after an MRI revealed the damage.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State baseball team will put its unblemished mark on the line this weekend in a three-game series against Belmont University.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- "Scooby" decided to get scrappy at the right time Thursday night for the Mississippi State women's basketball team. Diamber Johnson responded to the pleas from her coach to demand the basketball in a big way, scoring her team's final 11 points in a 68-55 victory against the University of Alabama before a crowd of 2,114 at Foster Auditorium.
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