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January 7th, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. â€“ The Arkansas Razorback press and red-hot shooting proved to be too much for No. 15 Mississippi State Saturday night.
The Bulldogs went on the road and learned a valuable lesson â€“ it is hard to win on the road in the Southeastern Conference, falling 98â€“88.
Dee Bost broke out of his recent slump playing well yet again inside Bud Walton Arena and freshman DeVille Smith added a career-high 25 points, but they were overshadowed by Arkansas (12-3, 1-0) junior Julysses Nobles who turned in a career-high 24 points and freshman B.J. Young had another outstanding night with 24 points of his own.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. â€“Â â€¨It's something that many athletes go through at certain times of their careers.â€¨They struggle, search, question, and pick a part each and every aspect of their game trying to get rid of it. Baseball players deal with it.Â Receivers experience it.
On Saturday night, Mississippi State point guard Dee Bost broke out of his slump.
Entering the matchup with Arkansas, Bost was not playing up to his usual standards, averaging 7.3 points over the past three games while shooting just 21.5 percent. He struggled with few assists and simply wasnâ€™t getting to the foul line with just four attempts.
Mississippi State's Diamber Johnson was feeling "the pain of regret" after Thursday night's 53-48 loss to LSU.
The senior point guard of the Lady Bulldogs had scored a season-low six points in that game and knew it wasn't good enough to be able to compete in the Southeastern Conference.
MSU, which stands 10-4 overall after dropping its first league outing, gets another chance today at 11th-ranked Kentucky. The tip is set for 2:30 p.m. and will be televised by SportSouth.
"Sometimes it takes losses like (LSU) to make you realize how badly you need to work on things," Johnson said.
It will be a show of unity today as the Starkville High School football team attends the funeral of teammate Devin Mitchell.
The service for Mitchell will be held at Calvary Baptist Church this afternoon in Starkville and SHS football coach Jamie Mitchell said the team will honor the families wishes and come as a team.
The Yellowjackets will also be wearing black jerseys at the request of Devin's mother because that's what he will be buried in.
Jamie Mitchell said the team will bus from the SHS athletic complex to the service because it's important for them to be together during this time.
The offensive woes of the Starkville Academy boys' basketball team continued Saturday night.
Lamar School out-dueled the Volunteers 41-33 at the Starkville Academy Gymnasium.
The Volunteers were coming off a 19-point performance against Hilcrest on Friday night.
SA boys coach Mark Alexander wishes his offense stepped up a bit more.
"We played OK," Alexander said. "We were dismal on offense and just dismal. We couldn't hit a shot. Same thing last night. We had 19 points last night and (33) tonight. You do the math. Eight quarters of basketball and you add that up that's not very good. We can't buy a basket."
Coach Rick Stansbury enters his 14th Southeastern Conference opener tonight as his 15th-ranked Bulldogs square off against Arkansas.
State carries a 13-2 record into the outing looking for its fourth opening conference win against the 11-3 Razorbacks.
Recent history shows the Bulldogs have learned how to win in Fayetteville, Ark. as the Bulldogs have won three of their last four trips to the Natural State.
However, Stansbury knows that has nothing to do with this yearâ€™s matchup.
â€śEvery year's different," Stansbury said. "We take a different team up there; they've got a different team. There's no question, they're better in a lot of ways than they've been, because they've got so many guards that can play.
April is very important for the Rutgers women's basketball program right now.
The Scarlet Knights want to be competing for a national championship in April and they are looking to former East Oktibbeha player April Sykes to get them there.
In her preseason basketball press conference, Rutgers women's coach C. Vivan Stringer made no secret about what the goals were for her team.
"We want to win a national championship," Stringer said. "We say it. We profess it. It's the highest level so why wouldn't we. All things have to be right, but we're not trying to hide. We would like to do that.
The Hillcrest Christian Lady Cougars got off to a good start against the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers by hitting the first basket of the game Friday night.
After that point, the SA defense only allowed 40 more points to visiting Hillcrest Christian.
The Lady Vols kept the the Lady Cougars in check during a 60-42 victory at home.
Starkville Academy girls coach Glenn Schmidt was happy to see her squad contest shots.
"(Hillcrest) made some shots after five or six passes and we stopped a couple of things they wanted to do," Schmidt said.
CRAWFORD â€“ The East Oktibbeha Titans were able to show their might in the second half Friday night.
Even though Ethel held its own for the first half in boys basketball action against East Oktibbeha, the Titans dominated in the second half on their way to a 64-50 victory.
The Tigers took a 31-28 lead into the locker room at halftime and East Oktibbeha coach Barnett Robinson lit a fire under his squad during the intermission.
"I told them we just needed to do better than what we were doing," Robinson said. "We were playing very flat at halftime. I told them at halftime we just needed to pick it up, slow down and cut down on our mistakes. Do what we were supposed to do."
The Mississippi State Bulldogs will launch the Southeastern Conference portion of their schedule on Saturday.
MSU, which has started 13-2 this season, travels to Arkansas to face the 11-3 Razorbacks, and unlike the recent past, the Bulldogs have positioned themselves nicely heading into their so-called second season with room for improvement.
â€śI think there's a lot of room for improvement with this (team), probably a lot more than some of the other teams I've had going into this time,â€ť said Mississippi Stateâ€™s head coach Rick Stansbury. â€śSome other teams I've taken into this time of the year, you didn't have that level of improvement left.