Timmy Bowers (14 pts, 5 rebs, 4 steals, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 38 minutes)
Was this a little more intense than a normal MSU-Ole Miss game?
"Yeah, it was definitely more intense than usual for the simple fact that we had gone up there and beat them on their homecourt earlier in the season. And when Coach Stansbury got ejected, it made everybody bring more energy to the game."
After winning 19 of your first 20 games, how do you continue to keep mentally preparing for each game?
"We just take it one game at a time. I think everybody is just showing tremendous focus in practice, not really looking ahead to the game. As long as you are doing that, you are going to be focused."
How did it affect you guys when Coach Stansbury was thrown out of the game?
"I think at first we were a little startled. Then, when it got down late in the first half, we just tried to pick our energy up a level. I was out there trying to get guys going, trying to pick them up on the defensive end, because we weren't really guarding out there. Myself, Branden (Vincent) and Lawrence (Roberts), everybody just stepped up there intensity out there and I think that was the biggest thing."
You carved them up in the second. You ended the first half on that 13-2 run, then you made it look easy in the second half.
"Yeah, we just kept pushing it at the start of the second half. We thought that their legs were going to get tired and I think the latter part of the second half they got a little fatigued and we tried to take advantage of it."
After they got up by 9, you said you stepped up the intensity. Was that all you did or did you also adjust to the defense they were playing?
"It wasn't so much their defense. We know what kind of defense they were going to play everytime we play them. I think it was just the energy part. We weren't really guarding on the defensive end. They were getting a lot of open looks. (Aaron) Harper had a lot of open looks. (Kendrick) Fox had a lot of open looks. They were getting to the post anytime they wanted to."
Branden Vincent (8 pts, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 23 minutes)
How did it affect you guys after Coach Stansbury got ejected?
"After he got ejected, we just tried to pick up our energy up. That was like losing a link of the chain. We just had to re-link it. Everybody tried to step up and be leaders and we kind of pulled through it."
What was the reason for you guys starting out so slow?
"The calls took the whole game out of sync. I'm not just saying the calls against us. The calls against Ole Miss also. It was just a game where the reps made some bad calls in the beginning against us and they tried to level it off by making bad calls against Ole Miss."
Winsome Frazier (12 pts [8 of 8 fts], 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 3 turnovers, 35 minutes)
What was it like to have the assistants take over for Coach Stansbury?
"It was really kind of similar because they have been around the program quite a while. It was like watching Hoosiers. Coach gets thrown out of the game, so you have to have assistants take over."
Talk about the run at the start of the first half.
"We came out and tried to continue the momentum."
Why do you think you guys started out so slow against Ole Miss?
"As a rival game, you can always expect them to make a run. We were throwing the ball away, but we eventually got it together."
Would you say this was probably the most physical game you have played this year?
"It was a very hard game. This was our rival week. They came in and gave everything, foul, pushing. WE knew what to expect. The reps were being a little lenient on the calls, so we had to play through it."
Lawrence Roberts (24 pts, 9 rebs, 2 assists, 4 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 36 minutes)
Did you realize it was going to be such a physical game?
"We knew going in that they were going to let us play physical. We are used to that. We just had to step up and be strong and try and take it to their basket hard."
Talk about your upcoming matchup with South Carolina.
"It is going to be a tough game. Every game that we play is a tough game. We just have to go out there and play hard, knowing that they are going to give us their best shot."
Did you noticed any differences in coaching style when the assistants took over for Coach Stansbury?
"No, not really. He did a good job stepping in. We didn't miss a beat. He did a good job stepping up."
Did it surprise you how upset Coach Stansbury got early in the game when he got thrown out?
"It really surprised us more that he got kicked out of the game. I really didn't know what was going on because I didn't really hear him yelling."
Justin Reed had been playing very well of late. Is he the kind of player you love playing against?
"Oh yeah, most definitely. Anytime you have two great players going at it, you really want to step your game up and really play hard. You live for those great matchups, good games, rivalry games."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.