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January 18th, 2012
The Mississippi State Bulldogs don't expect it to be easy tonight when they take on rival Ole Miss in Oxford.
MSU's chances at a victory are improved if it does the job in certain areas.
"Any team can be beaten any night when you do those little things," State senior point guard Diamber Johnson said. "That plays a major part."
The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Rebels take the Tad Smith Coliseum floor at 7 p.m., one night after the men clashed in Southeastern Conference action.
It takes more than one, two or three All-Star players to have success.
Former Mississippi State center Erick Dampier got to experience that first-hand in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Miami Heat last season.
Even though Miami had LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (a.k.a. The Big Three), Dampier said there was more to the team than just them.
"People always talk about the big three on that team, but they can't go out and win all of those games by themselves," Dampier said. "It takes 12 people and that's what people fail to realize. You have to talk about the team in order to win games. Those guys bought into the team concept and without the other 12 people on that team, we couldn't win."
In only one season of being together, Dampier gained tremendous respect for James because of the way he went about his business.
Dampier calls James "the best player in the league," but said there's a reason he has reached that status.
The 18th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs travel north to take on Ole Miss tonight in the longest running rivalry in school history.
The two teams have squared off 243 times with the State coming out on top a school-best 138 times, and for the Bulldogs, a win in the 244th meeting means theyâ€™ve tied a 96-year-old record.Â
The Bulldogs (15-3, 2-1) havenâ€™t won four-straight in Oxford since the 1914-16 seasons and while that is significant to the team, MSU senior point guard Dee Bost understands this is the one the fans really want.Â
â€śYou can lose three games in a row but if you lose to Ole Miss, that game probably means more to our fans and our school,â€ť said Bost, who stands second in scoring with 16.1 points per outing. â€śPlaying Ole Miss, you always have to come to play because everybody is watching.â€ť
In the state of Mississippi, it is a pretty much understood thing that Bulldogs donâ€™t like Rebels and Rebels donâ€™t care for Bulldogs.
Thatâ€™s just the way it is.
For Mississippi State's Rodney Hood, a Meridian native, he gets the rivalry loud and clear.Â
â€śI know people don't like Ole Miss. I don't have anything against them but I know State fans really want this,â€ť said Hood who is the third-leading scorer for the Bulldogs with 11.6 points per game. â€śI know we don't like them and they don't like us. I'm excited for the game.â€ť
Hood will get his first taste of MSUâ€™s oldest rivalry tonight as the 15-3 Bulldogs travel to Oxford to take on the 11-6 Rebels and in doing so heâ€™ll face one of his more difficult matchups of the season in forward, Terrance Henry.
This is a big week of basketball on the road for the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs.
Any stretch of games in the Southeastern Conference is deemed important for positioning in the standings, but there's one particular reason to place emphasis on the matchups of this midweek.
It's rivalry week.
Forget for a moment that the Bulldogs have a battle against a tough Vanderbilt team Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., or that the Lady Bulldogs are in need of an SEC home victory against Auburn on Sunday.
Starkville High School's Nathan Pugh has a reputation that attracted Pearl River Community College.
Pugh signed with the Wildcats Tuesday morning at the high school library.
On hand were assistant coaches from PRCC, his family, and SHS head coach Danny Carlisle.
Pearl River CC assistant coach Kyle Lindsey said Pugh's character and talent was something needed in the program.
"(Character is something) we are trying to recruit," Lindsey said. "He fits the mold of character and a great player. He has a chance to pitch and play a position for us as two-way (player)."
JACKSON â€“ The Starkville Academy girls' basketball team never allowed more than 10 points a quarter Tuesday night against Hillcrest Christian.
The Lady Volunteers went on to defeat the Lady Cougars 48-16.
SA jumped out early in the first quarter and took an 18-3 lead into the second period. They did even better in the second frame defensively only giving up two points. However, they only scored four themselves.
They took a 22-5 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The Starkville Christian School Lady Cougars got a good look at their future Tuesday night and it was pretty good.
Moultrie Earns Player of the Week Honors
It certainly wasn't what the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs needed against the 19th-ranked team in the country.