"I don't think it was lack of intensity, but more that they out-efforted us. They made effort plays. We haven't given up 22 offensive rebounds all season and we gave up 22 tonight. And they outscored us in the paint, which doesn't happen against us. Another thing, which is uncharacteristic of this team, is we pressed in the second half when Lawrence (Roberts) went out with his ankle injury. We pressed, offensively, as a team. We hadn't done that all year. We tried to make too much happen on one play, like we were going to make a ten-point play off of one basket. We weren't spreading the ball around and getting into the flow of the game."
Do you think this team is mature enough to come back strong from a loss like this?
"There is no question about that. This team has always been resilient. Anytime they've had adversity, they have always come back and responded very well. I think this team will come back. Plus, this gives Lawrence a couple of extra days to rehab his ankle. That is a positive."
What will you coacheds say to the guys to get them back on track?
"Like Rick (Stansbury) always says, it's one win, one loss. One of our goals was to win this tournament. We didn't get a chance to accomplish it."
While this was a loss, a very important loss in regard to one of your goals, the reality of it is you are still going to be a very high seed in the tournament that is the most important, the NCAA Tournament.
"This didn't make or break our season. And our kids will learn from it and will respond 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.