Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talked about his team's 67-66 loss to the 5th ranked Kentucky Wildcats."> Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talked about his team's 67-66 loss to the 5th ranked Kentucky Wildcats.">

Rick Stansbury talks about his team's loss

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/coaches/basketball/stansbury-action.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="161"> Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury talked about his team's 67-66 loss to the 5th ranked Kentucky Wildcats.

Opening Comments

"I want to congratulate Coach Smith and Kentucky. They came down here and played terrific. It came down to the last two seconds and a deflection and they score. Give them a lot of credit.

" When we got down 10-2 early, we got very impatient. Four trips in a row when we cut it back to three, I know we settled for three-point shots, quick three-point shots. You can't do that. The emotion of the crowd caused us to rush things a little bit.

"Our team fought from behind all night long. We came out early and didn't shoot very well. We had a slow start in the second half. After that, we started making some plays. Timmy (Bowers) started making some shots.

"I told my kids before the game all we ask for is the opportunity. We had several opportunities late in the game to go ahead but we didn't. We missed two 1 and 1's with less than 30 seconds to go in the game. We had our opportunities. The last 30 seconds didn't go our way."


Talk about that last shot that won the game for them.
"It was just one of those plays you don't want to happen to you but it happened to us. It was just a deflected ball. We get a deflection on it and it bounces over into Daniels hands and he scores."

Talk about the tie ball the officials called the last few seconds in the game that gave Kentucky the ball.
"I'm not going to question the officials. They did a great job tonight."

What did you find out about your team tonight against a Kentucky team that played very well tonight?
"Everybody wanted to know if we were for real. I think we proved that again tonight. After playing so poorly for most of the game, one thing this team has shown is we never quit, we never give up. Because of that, we took a great Kentucky basketball team that was playing well tonight and we controlled the last seven or eight minutes of the game."

What did you do during the last few minutes of the game where you went from a 11-point deficit to a one-point lead.
"We've been in that position a couple of times this year. We weren't shooting the ball well. We knew, eventually, some shots would fall. We started getting some stops and some of their shots didn't fall late in the basketball game. But we became the more aggressive team and we attacked them off the dribble. We made a few three-point shots. We got Lawrence Roberts more active late in the game. That just changed the flow of the game. The crowd got into it."

Talk about Gary Ervin's play.
"Gary was kind of the guy that got us going a little bit. He was the guy who was breaking down their defense, getting some penetration, scoring himself, getting some shots for some other people. He got us going and loosen us up in the first half. He was probably the reason we were able to get it back to 9 by halftime."

What did you do to get Roberts in the game in the second half?
"He plays hard and is a great offensive rebounder. When the game was on the line, he stepped it up and took his energy to another level. Great players find ways to elevate their play when the game is on the line. Both he and Timmy Bowers did that in the second half."

Did you get a chance to look at the replay of the last shot that won the game for Kentucky?
"It was good. There was no question that it was good. I'm not going to argue about the last call. It was a good call. The officials got it right."

You have a very tough game coming up at LSU. After such a tough loss, how will you try to get your team refocused for that game?
"This game counts as either one win or one loss. That is how we approach everyone of them. This doesn't count as 2 losses or 3 losses, but 1 loss. We'll get back Thursday and Friday and play a very good LSU team Saturday. Then, we go to Florida next Wednesday. So, we have two very tough games coming up and our kids will find a way to be ready."

Marcus Campbell didn't have a very good game tonight.
"He had a hard time keeping up with the pace of the game. The quickness level of Daniels and Hayes were allowing them to beat him on putbacks."

You guys beat them badly on the boards in the second half.
"We went to work in the second half. When we got that momentum, we took the backboards over. We out-rebounded them 12 rebounds tonight."

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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