There was no sign of disappointment or anger in Vic Schaefer's voice Tuesday.
When you're the coach of the No. 11 team in the country that has earned the No. 3 seed in the "biggest, baddest conference" in the nation, it's difficult not to have a rosy outlook as you move deeper into March.
Effort is the equalizer for JD Earhart.
The New Hope High School senior admits there were days he doubted he would get a chance to continue to play soccer in college. Ever since Earhart was a 6-year-old in the Columbus youth soccer league, he recalls dreaming about keeping his soccer career going. On the days when that doubt crept in, though, Earhart didn't let it sidetrack him. Instead, he opted for a simple approach that would get him back on track.
ABERDEEN -- The knock on Marcus Carouthers has been he can't shoot.
Naysayers also have said the Aberdeen High School senior is an "average" post player.
If you subscribe to either of those notions, be sure not to tell Carouthers you feel that way because he will make you pay. It might not be right away, but Carouthers will smile and file your comment away. Come game time, he will dissect you from inside and outside and on the fast break to make you pay.
Victoria Vivians already has played a major role in the Mississippi State women's basketball team's record-breaking season.
On Monday, the 6-foot-1 guard from Carthage set an individual first when she was named the first freshman finalist for the Gillom Award, which goes to the best women's college basketball player in the state of Mississippi. Ole Miss senior forward Tia Faleru and Southern Mississippi senior forward Tamara Jones also were selected as finalists in a vote of statewide media who cover college basketball. The award is named after former Ole Miss great Peggie Gillom-Granderson.
STARKVILLE -- Matt Insell couldn't leave town Sunday without a rant.
The Ole Miss women's basketball coach didn't go off on the official who issued him a technical foul in the second half of his team's 55-47 loss to No. 11 Mississippi State before a record crowd of 7,326 at Humphrey Coliseum.
Insell also didn't downplay his team's effort and credited the Bulldogs for their performance and a rousing atmosphere in the state's biggest rivalry.
STARKVILLE -- The signs of growth were everywhere.
From the fact that the Mississippi State women's basketball team battled back from another slow start to the fact that a single-game program record crowd of 7,326 turned out at Humphrey Coliseum, the Bulldogs had every reason to celebrate another special day in a history-making season.
The No. 11 Mississippi State women's basketball team defeated Ole Miss 55-47 before a single-game record crowd of 7,326 at Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday.
Pressure defenses are designed to give teams plenty of chances to create separation.
Matt Insell has insisted on being honest with his players in his first two seasons as women's basketball coach at Ole Miss.
STARKVILLE -- The schedule says this is the end.
Mississippi State figures to hear its name called March 16 when the 64-team field for the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament is announced on ESPN.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State women's basketball team will face its biggest test of the season tonight.
No. 2 South Carolina (26-1, 14-0 Southeastern Conference) will present only one of the obstacles No. 11 MSU will have to overcome at 6 tonight (Fox Sports Net) when the teams meet at Colonial Life Arena.
Wendell Rieves wants to get back to the "Big House."
Last season, Rieves was a junior on the West Lowndes High School boys basketball team that advanced to play in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A State tournament at Mississippi Coliseum. A disappointing loss to Shaw left a bad taste in the mouths of all of the West Lowndes players and provided ample motivation for the 2014-15 season.
MABEN -- Danny Crawford had a feeling about his West Oktibbeha County High School boys basketball team.
Even though the Timberwolves only have eight players, Crawford knew his team's size on the front line would serve it well as it made a playoff push in the second half of the season.
There are no more reprieves.
There also are no more third-place games to help teams extend their seasons.
Starting tonight, area boys and girls basketball teams will have to win or they will have to go home.
The New Hope (Class 5A), Aberdeen (Class 3A), West Oktibbeha and West Lowndes (Class 1A) high school boys basketball teams will play host to Mississippi High School Activities Associations games tonight, while Columbus (Class 6A), West Point (Class 5A), East Oktibbeha and Hamilton (Class 1A) will go on the road to try to extend their seasons.
One choice didn't force Daniel Merchant to turn his back on his alma mater.
Instead, when Merchant learned in January that the head football coach position at Sulligent High School was open again, the 2004 graduate of the school re-applied for the position.
WEST POINT -- The New Hope High School boys basketball team nearly made everyone forget its slow start.
Somehow after scoring only four points in the first quarter and trailing by 16 points, New Hope found itself in the lead, 55-54, following a steal by Jaylon Bardley and a thunderous dunk by Shemar Johnson with 1 minute, 49 seconds remaining against Oxford in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 2 title game at West Point High.
But that would be the only lead the Trojans would taste.
STARKVILLE -- Chemistry has been a key ingredient in the success of the Mississippi State women's basketball team this season.
Coaches never know how the personalities on each team will mix, but MSU coach Vic Schaefer hasn't had to worry about that dilemma. The only problem that has plagued Schaefer has been trying to find playing time for 14 talented players.
Thanks to the willingness of those players to coexist and to challenge each other, MSU has secured a spot in both national polls (No. 14 in The Associated Press, No. 16 in USA Today) and has matched a program record for wins in a season with three regular-season games to go.
Roosevelt Bridges knows the road back to Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson isn't going to be easy.
Vic Schaefer knew he could win at Mississippi State.
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