STARKVILLE -- The last thing Rick Stansbury needed was more injury questions. The 14-year coach of Mississippi State University men's basketball has already lost back-to-back games to average teams and is struggling to maintain much consistency entering the critical portion of the 2011-12 campaign.
STARKVILLE -- Down to their last out, the Bulldogs finally ran out of late-inning magic, falling 5-4 to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Friday night at the MSU Softball Stadium. The Bulldogs fell to 5-1 on the year, while the Cougars improved to 3-2.
STARKVILLE -- To his right and just above the desk in John Cohen's office sits a picture of one of coaching idols -- Hall of Fame and former University of Alabama football coach Paul W. Bryant. It isn't common to see a picture of a football coach in the office of most baseball coaches in America, but it helps explain the mind-set of Mississippi State University's fourth-year baseball coach.
STARKVILLE -- The color orange doesn't faze Kendra Grant. That's the good news, especially considering Grant is a freshman at Mississippi State University and has plenty of matchups remaining against the University of Tennessee women's basketball team. The bad news is Grant's hard work Thursday night couldn't end a streak that dates back to before she was born.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama women's basketball team rocketed to a huge halftime lead against the No. 7 University of Kentucky, then held on for dear life -- and a rare upset against a ranked team. Jasmine Robinson scored 17 points and the Crimson Tide held off a big rally for a 77-75 victory Thursday night, Alabama's first against a top-25 team in more than nine years.
OXFORD -- The avalanche of offense started with Jeffery Taylor's first layup and ended on Kyle Fuller's free throw. In between was a performance by the Vanderbilt University men's basketball team that was so dominant coach Kevin Stallings couldn't help feel a little sorry for the University of Mississippi.
There aren't many coaches who know winning like Pat Summitt. In the rarefied air of all-time wins (men's and women's), the University of Tennessee coach leads the pack with more than 1,089 victories, and is followed by Duke University men's coach Mike Krzyzewski, former Indiana University and Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight, and former University of Texas women's coach Jody Conradt.
When East Mississippi Community College sophomore Curtis Hall saw an opening, he decided to make the most of his opportunity. Inserted into the starting lineup in the fourth game of the season, Hall has flourished, as have the Lions. The former West Point High School standout's defensive presence is a big reason why the Lions are on a 14-game winning streak, which is the third longest streak in junior college basketball.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Anthony Hickey made only 2 of 7 shots for four points in regulation against the Mississippi State University men's basketball team, setting him up nicely to deal the Bulldogs a stunning blow in the final seconds of overtime. Hickey hit a driving floater in the paint with 1.4 seconds left in the extra session, lifting LSU to a 69-67 victory against the Bulldogs on Tuesday night.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Playing the University of Alabama men's basketball team without its two biggest standouts, the No. 14 University of Florida had no problem making up for its missing players. Patric Young took advantage of the Crimson Tide's suspension-depleted frontcourt with 19 points and the Gators won 61-52 Tuesday night.
STARKVILLE -- Maybe this is the best situation for the Mississippi State University women's basketball team. Last season, the Lady Bulldogs regrouped from three months of ups and downs to play their best basketball. Even though MSU only went 5-5 in the final two months, it showed positive building blocks en route to a 13-17 finish.
SCOOBA - It took an extra session, but the 19th-ranked East Mississippi Community College men's basketball team extended its current winning streak to 14 consecutive games with a 68-64 overtime home triumph over Meridian Community College Monday night at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.
STARKVILLE - Ben Bracewell's comeback from labrum surgery will be completed with the redshirt sophomore getting the opening day pitching start Friday night. Mississippi State's right-handed pitcher will be the first to take the mound in the 2012 season when the Bulldogs open up with the first of a three-game series against Washington State at 6 p.m. Friday.
STARKVILLE -- Following the most disappointing performance of the 2011-12 season, Mississippi State Rick Stansbury knew exactly where to turn to steady the locker room. The 14-year head coach went straight to his senior point guard that happens to be a co-captain on this Bulldogs squad in Dee Bost.
STARKVILLE -- Diamber Johnson and Porsha Porter have been the engine that drives the Mississippi State University women's basketball team all season. When the senior guards are on, the Lady Bulldogs can compete with any team in the Southeastern Conference. When they struggle, MSU can get stuck in neutral and look like a team searching for answers.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury's body language after Saturday's upset loss at home to the University of Georgia told the story. The 14-year coaching veteran had no answer why his team had no energy and his players had no respect for a Georgia team that walked away from a stunned crowd of 7,610 at Humphrey Coliseum with a 70-68 overtime victory.
STARKVILLE -- With the exception of one game against the University of Mississippi, it was the same formula for the Mississippi State University men's basketball team but a different result Saturday. MSU, which had walked the tight rope in four straight Southeastern Conference home wins by five points or less, finally had its dangerous habit of allowing inferior opponents hang around catch up with it against a University of Georgia team that entered the game 11th in the 12-team league.
STARKVILLE -- With his image plastered on the side of Dudy Noble Field, Mississippi State University fans continue to wonder when the next Paul Maholm will take the mound in Starkville. With that question still unanswered, Maholm returned to Starkville on Saturday for MSU's First Pitch banquet, which signifies the start of the 2012 campaign.
OXFORD -- The Universty of Mississippi's Murphy Holloway, seeing his men's basketball team's postseason hopes in danger, picked the right time to have the most productive offensive outburst of his career. Holloway scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had 14 consecutive second half points Saturday night to help Ole Miss defeat Auburn University 61-54 to enhance the Rebels' hopes for an NCAA tournament berth.
Sharon Fanning-Otis is waiting for the Mississippi State women's basketball team to take the next step. The veteran coach sees her team making progress, but she also knows time is running out. With five games remaining in the regular season, MSU (13-11, 3-8 Southeastern Conference) has little room for error as it prepares to play host to the University of Mississippi at 2:30 p.m. today (SportSouth) at Humphrey Coliseum.
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