Renee Ladner is sticking with the plan. Last week, the University of Mississippi women's basketball coach preached that her team was a "work in progress" and that it was developing confidence and a better understanding of what it needs to do even after a 0-3 start in the Southeastern Conference. Ladner's message hadn't changed Tuesday after the Rebels (12-6, 2-3 SEC) had won their second-straight league game, a 69-55 victory Sunday at the University of Alabama.
STARKVILLE -- Passing showers Tuesday afternoon didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the Mississippi State University softball team. The Bulldogs worked their way through their initial practice of 2012 inside the MSU Indoor Softball Complex as the first step toward the Feb. 9 season opener against the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., and the debut of new coach Vann Stuedeman.
East Mississippi Community College men's basketball coach Mark White repeatedly points out that there are several more basketball games left in the 2011-12 regular season. In the very next breath, White talks about the extreme importance of the game at hand. The Lions take on No. 17 Northeast Mississippi Community College with the early North Division lead on the line tonight.
STARKVILLE -- The first thing Rick Stansbury said in the preseason that his team has more pieces to work with in the 2011-2012. The queen on Stansbury's hardwood chess board is junior forward Arnett Moultrie because he can play in whatever style of play the opponent wishes.
STARKVILLE -- When you're part of a bench effort that gets outscored 32-4, you would think there isn't a lot of positives to come from that effort. But Shamia Robinson is trying to make the most of every minute she is on the floor for the Mississippi State University women's basketball team.
STARKVILLE -- Diamber Johnson knows what it's like to be targeted. As the leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference entering the weekend, the Mississippi State University senior guard has seen her share of defensive attention this season. On Sunday, the No. 19 University of Georgia women's basketball team's game plan was to take Johnson out of the equation and to make everything she attempted difficult.
STARKVILLE -- With football coach Dan Mullen in the stands, Mississippi State University senior point guard Dee Bost showcased his vertical passing abilities. After Bost hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Bulldogs take the lead back, MSU had 94 feet to maneuver with 3.4 seconds left. Bost unleashed a football pass underneath the University of Alabama's basket that replicated a perfect football wheel route to senior guard Brian Bryant, who caught the pass in stride at halfcourt and went in for the game's final basket and was fouled to lift No. 20 MSU to a 56-52 victory Saturday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- While he continues to wait to see which NBA team will need a 6-foot-11 center later in the season, Erick Dampier was honored Saturday at his alma mater before the Mississippi State men's basketball team's 56-52 victory against the University of Alabama. Dampier, who was a significant member of the 1996 Final Four team and was the 10th overall selection by the Indiana Pacers in the 1996 NBA draft, was recognized at center court before the game Saturday afternoon as a part of MSU's 100 years of basketball season-long promotion.
STARKVILLE -- In a heavyweight Southeastern Conference basketball battle of the big men Saturday afternoon, the University of Alabama men's basketball team didn't have an answer for Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie. Moultrie scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, posting a conference-best ninth double-double, to help No. 20 MSU sneak past Alabama 56-52 in the Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University All-America pitcher Paul Maholm, who recently became the newest member of the Chicago Cubs baseball organization, will be the featured speaker at the 2012 "First Pitch/Meet the Team" Baseball Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 11.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama will celebrate the football team's 2011 National Football Championship at 2 p.m. Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The event will feature the Crimson Tide football team and football coach Nick Saban. The celebration will last approximately one hour and admission is free.
STARKVILLE - Two programs that think they can contend for a Southeastern Conference men's basketball title will get their chance to prove it in Humphrey Coliseum Saturday afternoon. Without a Western Division to battle over, the University of Alabama and Mississippi State University will be a pivotal matchup to possibly see who gets the final of the four byes in the SEC Tournament in March.
STARKVILLE -- After saying it was punched in the mouth last weekend at the University of Arkansas, the Mississippi State University men's basketball team delivered the final blow Thursday night. In a physically demanding contest where open looks and clear cuts through the paint were at a premium, No. 20 MSU hung on for a 62-58 victory in its Southeastern Conference home opener against the University of Tennessee.
Mississippi State University junior wide receiver Chad Bumphis pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication in his initial court appearance at Tupelo Municipal Court.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It's all about eye contact. Diamber Johnson has been playing with Kendra Grant for only 16 games, but point guards have a knack for finding shooters. Sometimes, though, you need a second chance. Kendra Grant was more than happy to oblige on two occasions Thursday night.
STARKVILLE -- DeVille Smith proved Thursday his performance Saturday night at the University of Arkansas wasn't a fluke. Smith scored most of his career-high 25 points after the Mississippi State University men's basketball team already trailed by more than 20 points at Bud Walton Arena. But the freshman point guard from Jackson backed up the effort in his Southeastern Conference debut against the University of Tennessee and helped keep No. 20 MSU from suffering back-to-back SEC losses.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The national champion University of Alabama football team will once again try to keep rolling after losing three underclassmen to the NFL draft. All-Americans Trent Richardson, Dont'a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick said Thursday they're leaving school to start pro careers, three days after helping the Crimson Tide to its second national title of their careers.
OXFORD -- Danielle McCray grabbed a huge defensive rebound with 22.9 seconds remaining, and Nikki Byrd added two free throws with 19 seconds left to help the University of Mississippi women's basketball team to a 60-54 victory against the University of Arkansas on Thursday night at Tad Smith Coliseum.
OXFORD -- University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze received a National Letter of Intent on Thursday from Bo Wallace, a quarterback from East Mississippi Community College. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder will enroll at Ole Miss for the spring semester, and will begin competing in the 2012 season with three years of eligibility remaining.
STARKVILLE -- It's possible Mississippi State's senior point guard Dee Bost should come to Humphrey Coliseum this week was a two-word sign literally hanging from him -- help wanted. Brian Bryant, who is not only Bost's guard teammate and roommate on campus and on the road, said he doesn't have to see the tape of MSU's 98-88 loss at Arkansas to see where the 20th-ranked Bulldogs went wrong. It's already been discussed in a closed-door meeting between the two friends.
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3. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS