Mississippi State assistant basketball coach Phil Cunningham talked about his team's 82-81 overtime win over Alabama. With the win, MSU (25-2, 14-2 SEC) won the SEC Championship outright."> Mississippi State assistant basketball coach Phil Cunningham talked about his team's 82-81 overtime win over Alabama. With the win, MSU (25-2, 14-2 SEC) won the SEC Championship outright.">

MSU Assistant Coach Phil Cunningham

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/coaches/basketball/philcunningham.jpg" align="left"> Mississippi State assistant basketball coach Phil Cunningham talked about his team's 82-81 overtime win over Alabama. With the win, MSU (25-2, 14-2 SEC) won the SEC Championship outright.

What was your strategy after you guys got down by 18 in the second half?
"We knew in the first half that our players wanted to beat them so badly because they had beaten us on our home court. Because of that, we really didn't play with much composure in the first half. If you think about it, I don't think there has been another game where we have played a half that way the entire year. We played with a lack of poise and composure on offense. We weren't moving, we were quick shooting, we were turning the ball over. In the second half, we settled down and regained our composure. But it seemed like in the first ten minutes of the second half, everytime we made a run, they would match it. We did that two or three times, but give those guys credit, they never quit fighting and found a way to get the game into overtime."

What were the coaches thinking when Timmy Bowers was dribbling for the last second shot in overtime?
"We were very comfortable with the ball in Timmy Bowers' hands. Even the play we ran was designed for Timmy to have the ball in a situation where he could drive. So, you couldn't have asked us to have a better guy with the ball in his hands. Great players step up and make great plays and he made a tremendous play."

What was the defensive strategy for the last 1.1 seconds of overtime?
"Neither team had a timeout, so (Alabama) just threw the ball long and Lawrence intercepted it. But it was going to take a freak play to score with 1 second left. But, we lost one of those on a freak play (the Kentucky game), but it was halfcourt with about 3 seconds."


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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