STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's athletic teams combined for a score of 86 in the annual release of the NCAA's Graduation Success Rates (GSR), representing the school's highest total since the formula's inception in 2005. The 86 percentile is up one point from last year's previous school-record total of 85, and it is two points better than the national Division I average of 84. MSU's total ranked sixth among the 14-member Southeastern Conference institutions. The score is a measure of the four-year cohort from 2006-09.
STARKVILLE -- This has been a challenging season for Peter Sirmon and the Mississippi State football team's defense. Sirmon took over as defensive coordinator for Manny Diaz in the spring. He arrived in Starkville as part of a new staff with defensive line coach Brian Baker, cornerbacks coach Terrell Buckley, and safeties coach Maurice Linguist.
STARKVILLE -- Quinndary Weatherspoon remembers being nervous for his first game away from Humphrey Coliseum. The Mississippi State guard/forward played two games at the Hump before the Bulldogs hit the road for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic last season. MSU lost to Miami and Texas Tech before beating Missouri State in the three-game tournament.
OXFORD -- Ole Miss' Shea Patterson was nervous in the moments before Gary Wunderlich lined up for a game-winning field goal attempt against Texas A&M, so the quarterback said a few encouraging words to his kicker. Wunderlich then nailed the 39-yarder for a 29-28 victory against the then-No. 10 Aggies.
BILOXI -- Dominique Dillingham told her teammates Wednesday night would be a good time for a fast start. The No. 10 Mississippi State women's basketball team then delivered for its senior leader. MSU found offensive balance early and used hard-nosed physical defense throughout a 66-49 victory against Tulane before a crowd of 1,724 at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Will Coggin watched as Nick Mingione demonstrated a positive side. Serving as the third-base coach for the Mississippi State baseball team for the last four seasons, Mingione usually had a smile on his face and an encouraging word for the batter or a baserunner. Mingione sometimes danced in between pitches as the public address played music.
STARKVILLE -- It's not surprising to see basketball teams excel on defense in November and December as their offenses catch up. When you're coached by someone with a nickname of "Secretary of Defense," it's even less surprising that you're able to force 38 turnovers in your first two games.
STARKVILLE -- Fred Ross remembers being in shock when he arrived on the Mississippi State campus in 2013. As a freshman wide receiver for the MSU football team, he remembers not knowing where to go for workouts and not knowing where any of his classes were.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State men's basketball freshman Abdul Ado won't play this season due to a discrepancy in his transcript from Nigeria, MSU coach Ben Howland announced Tuesday.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Unlike last season's 32-point victory for the Dayton men's basketball team, this one went down to the wire. Ryan Mikesell made his second 3-pointer of the game with 76 seconds left to help Dayton beat Alabama 77-72 on Tuesday.
STARKVILLE -- Roshunda Johnson was 6 years old when Vinnie Johnson won his first NBA title. Known as "the Microwave," Vinnie Johnson was part of guard rotation with Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars that helped the Detroit Pistons win NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. Johnson's ability to come off the bench and provide an instant scoring jolt earned him the nickname "Microwave" from Danny Ainge, who was playing for the Boston Celtics at the time.
STARKVILLE -- Nickoe Whitley played a big part helping the Mississippi State football team become bowl eligible in 2013. With the Bulldogs needing to win their final two regular-season games to become bowl eligible, the safety forced a fumble at the MSU 9-yard line in the fourth quarter to deny Arkansas a touchdown and force the game to overtime. After Damian Williams scored a 25-yard touchdown in overtime, Whitley intercepted a Brandon Allen pass to seal the win.
The Ole Miss football team returned the practice field Monday feeling good again. Ole Miss received huge boost to its bowl hopes Saturday with a 29-28 upset of then-No. 8 Texas A&M at College Station, Texas. Ole Miss erased a 21-6 halftime deficit thanks to the strong performance of quarterback Shea Patterson in his debut.
OXFORD -- Ole Miss' Sebastian Saiz has a wide 6-foot-9, 240-pound body and an aggressive demeanor around the basket. When it comes to rebounding, his strategy is simple.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore running back Jacquez Horsley posed for a picture with the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) state championship trophy.
STARKVILLE -- Moving on.
SCOOBA -- The championship was one year in the making for the East Mississippi Community College football team. It was two years in the making for the player who made the biggest play of the day. Columbus native Alexander Lipscomb had the game-changing interception Saturday afternoon to help No. 3 East Mississippi C.C. defeat No. 4 Northwest Mississippi C.C. 38-30 to win the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State championship.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It has been a season full of record-breaking moments for Fred Ross. The Mississippi State wide receiver has seen records fall to the wayside after returning to school for his senior year. On Saturday, Ross broke Chad Bumphis' record for career yards in a 51-3 loss to No. 1 Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Offensive juggernaut. That's what the Mississippi State football offense was the last two weeks in wins against Samford and Texas A&M. The Bulldogs totaled 1,243 yards (626 passing, 617 rushing) and scored 91 points. But MSU football coach Dan Mullen knew his team was going to face a different challenge against the Southeastern Conference's top defense in the Southeastern Conference.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Mississippi State football team has set its sights on back-to-back upsets. MSU needs to win its final two games to become eligible for a school-record seventh-consecutive bowl appearance after a 51-3 loss to No. 1 Alabama on Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
1. Wright carving out role with MSU men COLLEGE SPORTS
2. MSU women receives commitment from Australian Bibby COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Okorie's improved play provides spark for MSU women COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Clinton High's Akers has one more shot to win title LOCAL COLUMNS