"I don't even need to say anything. I need to let my players do all the talking because they are the ones that refused to lose. We were down 12 points with about 5 to 6 minutes to go and we were going to the foul line at that point making 1 for 2 every time. We never could get it close at the foul line. But our kids never panicked. Then, we changed defenses and it goes, in about a two-minute span, from a 12-point lead to 4. Now, it became a new basketball game. We continued switching defenses on them. Then, they made their free throws to go up by three. Then, Timmy Bowers makes a huge shot with 7 seconds to go which put it into overtime. Once we got in overtime, there was no question who was the most aggressive team and who was making basketball plays. I thought that Lawrence and Branden took over the backboards on both ends in overtime. The tougher it got, the more our players dug in. I'm just proud for them. It was an unbelievable effort under the circumstances; on the road, in a hostile environment, playing against a great basketball team and come from 12 down."
The most important stat.
"I think at halftime we were tied or up one in rebounding. The second half, we out-rebounded them by 8. That is huge on the road."
Offensively improvement in the second half.
"I don't think we were as good offensively in the first half. In the second half, I thought we picked it up some and shot 47% on the road against a team that has been allowing their opponents to shoot 36%. That was huge for us."
45 minutes of great basketball.
"A lot of people missed the opportunity to see this game tonight. It would have been a great tv basketball game; the best of the West against the best of the East. It was just a terrific college basketball game. South Carolina has a terrific team and will beat most people they play as they have so far."
"When I took that timeout with about 2 and a half minutes to go in overtime, all they wanted to talk about was not hard work but ROAD WARRIORS. At that time in overtime, there was no question in those guys eyes who was going to win that basketball game. They just went out with unbelievable effort to finish that game off."
Next up, Arkansas at Arkansas.
"We go on the road again Saturday to a very difficult place in Arkansas. I have been here for 14 years, 8 years as an assistant and 6 years as a head coach, and we have taken some very good teams up there and never won. We are going up there Saturday and try to do something that has never been done. Arkansas is very good. They have a great basketball team and are playing very well."
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.