LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Trevor Releford slashed between three University of Kentucky defenders, hit a floater and slid into the front row. No matter how hard the University of Alabama guard tried, the Wildcats always had an answer for him and the rest of the Crimson Tide. Releford scored all 17 of his points in the second half, but No. 2 Kentucky hit its final eight free throws in the closing minute in the Wildcats' 77-71 victory over Alabama on Saturday.
Two college basketball teams headed in opposite directions will meet in Nashville today. Unfortunately for Mississippi State, it isn't the squad on the positive end of that equation.
OXFORD -- Porsha Porter, Diamber Johnson, and the rest of the Mississippi State women's basketball team picked the right time Thursday night to play through mistakes quickly. With their lead being tested in the final five minutes, Porter delivered a five-point spurt that provided a cushion and Johnson added the dagger to lead MSU to a 51-46 victory against the University of Mississippi before a crowd of 1,294 at Tad Smith Coliseum.
OXFORD -- The plan didn't include an effort like this, especially in a rivalry game. But University of Mississippi coach Renee Ladner found herself in the awkward position of trying to energize her team Thursday night in its home game against arch-rival Mississippi State. Ladner and Ole Miss never found that spark.
Porsha Porsha has been one of the most consistent performers for the Mississippi State women's basketball team this season. Whether it has been darting to the basket, draining 3-pointers, or ballhawking opponents, the senior guard has helped anchor the backcourt with classmate Diamber Johnson. But MSU may need Porter to do more if it is going to realize a goal she still believes is attainable.
OXFORD -- Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury played the percentages Wednesday night and came out on the wrong end. For the first time this season, the Bulldogs' 14th-year head coach decided to use a 2-3 zone defense. The philosophy was clear, MSU was going to make the University of Mississippi, which entered the game shooting 29.6 percent from 3-point range, to shoot over the top of them to win.
OXFORD -- The University of Mississippi men's basketball team had No. 18 Mississippi State University right where it wanted it Wednesday night. This time, the Rebels closed the deal. Playing perhaps its most complete game of the year, Ole Miss built an early lead and held on for a 75-68 win at the Tad Smith Coliseum.
OXFORD -- After further review, it's still incredibly difficult to win Southeastern Conference road games. That's at least true for the Mississippi State University men's basketball team. For the first time in four years, MSU players walked away from Tad Smith Coliseum with a sour look on their face after playing the University of Mississippi.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team has another opportunity to damage the University of Mississippi's hope for a successful season. In the past two seasons, the Bulldogs not only have successfully retained momentum in the rivalry game, but they also have made sure to leave the Rebels in a state of disarray and unable to recover in the following weeks.
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.
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