STARKVILLE — John Cohen admits his Mississippi State baseball team couldn’t have had a better start to the 2010 season. After sweeping the University of Rhode Island last weekend, the Bulldogs (3-0) will try in today’s home game (4 p.m.) against the University of Alabama at Birmingham to use youth on the mound and to get solid run support like they did against the Rams.
The East Mississippi Community College women’s basketball team can accomplish a feat tonight that no other team has realized this season when it takes the court in the MACJC state tournament. The Lady Lions can be the first team to beat Copiah-Lincoln Community College when the teams tip off against each other at 7:30 tonight in Scooba.
STARKVILLE — Pearl Rack had dreams for her daughter. As someone who enjoys dancing and as a past sponsor of the Franklin High School (La.) dance team, Pearl imagined a day when her youngest child, Alexis, would take the stage for a performance and delight audiences with her moves. Pearl decided to assist Alexis with her steps by enrolling her in a dance class. But Alexis wouldn’t move.
STARKVILLE — The much-heralded but untested freshman pitching class of the Mississippi State baseball showed why head coach John Cohen had no qualms about leaning on the newcomers this year. In just the second game of the season, freshman starter Chris Stratton and freshman relievers Kendall Graveman and C.C Watson combined on a five-hit shutout to pitch Mississippi State past Rhode Island 9-0 on Saturday. MSU (2-0) will host Rhode Island again at 1:30 p.m. today in the final game of the season-opening series.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. –– The third time was the charm for Wade Goodman and the Pickens Academy girls basketball team. Pickens Academy won the AISA Class AA state championship in Goodman’s third season as head coach by beating Laikeside Christian 53-39 at Huntingdon College on Friday. “It’s really the combination of three years of hard work,” Goodman said. “The girls deserve everything they got.”
STARKVILLE — Picked by league coaches to finish last in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference, the Mississippi State baseball team’s excitement about the 2010 season has an obvious reality in the team’s reconstruction. Year 2 of John Cohen’s command will see 18 fresh faces open the season at 4 p.m. today against Rhode Island at Dudy Noble Field. They’ve also gotten their first taste of just how celebrated MSU baseball is by experiencing Dudy Gras.
STARKVILLE — MississippiState men’s tennis coach Per Nilsson thinks his team might not have been fully tuned-in during a 3-3 start to the season. Today’s home opener against UAB at 2 p.m. starts a three-match homestand after MSU suffered a 4-2 loss to Brigham Young and 5-2 setback to No. 24 Washington. Mississippi State rebounded from the Washington loss with a 5-2 win against East Tennessee State, but Nilsson believes the team could very easily be 5-1 heading into today’s matches. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 4-3 loss to Ole Miss at the River Hills Cup in Jackson.
STARKVILLE — What could have been a spectacular night, with a national television audience watching the Mississippi State men’s basketball team bid for an upset of No. 2 Kentucky, turned ugly Tuesday. Mississippi State’s image suffered a black eye when unruly fans threw bottles of water onto the court at Humphrey Coliseum after Kentucky rallied to beat the Bulldogs 81-75 in overtime. Mississippi State Director of Athletics Greg Byrne isn’t happy about it. Neither is university president Dr. Mark Keenum.
STARKVILLE — Pitching was an emphasis for the Mississippi State baseball team heading into the offseason. With a new stable of young arms someone’s got to set an example. The Bulldogs will turn to sophomore Nick Routt to lead a relatively green group of pitchers this season after the Maryland native turned in a stellar true freshman year in 2009.
STARKVILLE — The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team found a way to close at the end. It should be expected from the No. 2 team in the country, but the Wildcats had to grind for it. The nip-tuck match saw Kentucky mow down a seven-point hole to force overtime, where it clinched the foul-ridden match — 45 in all — 81-75.
Campbell University women’s basketball coach Wanda Watkins is thankful for a telephone conversation she had with Brian Alexander. That conversation led Watkins to recruit and to sign shooting guard Courtney Cannon of Itawamba Community College in Fulton.
There’s a star in Oxford that must shine brighter for the University of Mississippi men’s basketball team to earn an NCAA tournament berth. The Ole Miss staff wants more from guard Terrico White.
STARKVILLE — Quickness versus strength has long been a matchup that favors the fleet of foot, so long as strength doesn’t wear down the lighter opponent. Mississippi State University men’s basketball team will be the lighter team at 8 tonight (ESPN) in its Southeastern Conference matchup against No. 2 Kentucky, but John Calipari’s big boys can move, too.
STARKVILLE — It’s a ritual that provided foreshadowing Dee Bost was only too happy to provide. Mired in a shooting slump the past six games, Bost has been taking extra shots in practice in an attempt to rediscover his stroke. After a hot-shooting first half Saturday in which he hit three 3-pointers and scored 14 points, Bost couldn’t help hoist a few more from distance before the start of the second half.
One game isn’t going to make the Mississippi State women’s basketball team’s season. But another favorable result today like the one the Lady Bulldogs earned Thursday night should go a long way to helping them receive a valuable reward. Thanks to a 55-53 victory at South Carolina, MSU (16-9, 7-5 Southeastern Conference) jumped from a four-way tie for fifth place to third place in the SEC standings.
STARKVILLE — If you think the action on the court is fast, try keeping up with Eric Posman and Dave Burchett. Between waves of the left hand and snapping of the fingers, the producer-director tandem that worked the Jan. 30 LSU-Mississippi State men’s basketball at Humphrey Coliseum are equal parts conductor and traffic cop. The way they pulled it off with the help of associate director Jil Gossard-Cook and a host of talented crew members who took care of graphics, the clock and score, audio, replays, and everything else was a whirlwind to watch and a treat to enjoy.
STARKVILLE — Technology has changed the way fans get their sports. From e-mail, to digital images, to high definition television, to the Internet, it’s easier and faster to get any information you need. The onslaught of gadgets can be imposing for veteran broadcasters who came up without iPods or BlackBerrys, but as much as the devices Dave Baker uses to do his job have changed one thing remains the same: There’s a story to tell.
STARKVILLE — The Los Angeles Dodgers’ loss is the Mississippi State baseball team’s gain. Most draft eligible juniors who are selected in the 11th round or higher of the Major League Baseball amateur draft take the money and turn pro. That wasn’t the case for Connor Powers, who turned down a chance to work his way through the Dodgers minor league system and a shot at the big time to return to Year 2 of John Cohen’s building plan at Mississippi State.
STARKVILLE — There’s no doubt Cara Capuano and Robin Muller love sports. Capuano grew up the daughter of a sports fan. Some of her earliest memories involve sports — watching pitcher Fernando Valenzuela with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 and attending the AFC Championship Game between the Los Angeles Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 8, 1984, in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with her father when she was 10 years old.
STARKVILLE — With so much at stake Thursday night, the Mississippi State Bulldogs picked a good time to snap out of a funk. After losing four-straight games on the road, the Bulldogs got 18 points from guard Ravern Johnson and held the Ole Miss Rebels to 38 percent shooting from the field to post a 71-63 Southeastern Conference win at Humphrey Coliseum. Mississippi State (17-7, 5-4 SEC) moved into second place behind Arkansas in the SEC Western Division with the victory.