Monmouth players talk about the game

Monmouth playes talked about MSU's 85-52 victory over them in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Blake Hamilton (6 pts, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, 2 steals, 4 fouls, 19 minutes)

On the first play of the game, you guys committed a turnover. Were you nervous at the start of the game?
"Yeah, that was my turnover. I didn't feel nervous but it was a stupid mistake. It did set the tone because it led to a blowout. You can't make those kind of mistakes in a big game like this."

This was not your normal offensive type game. What did Mississippi State do to defend you that other team haven't?
"I've actually had the same problem with a lot of teams when I get myself into foul trouble. I get a little stagnant out there. I'm going in and out of the game and not really getting into the flow. That really sets the tone due to me being a key member of the team."

Dwayne Byfield (12 pts, 2 rebs, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 35 minutes)

You got back to 36-32 a few minutes to go in the first half. What happened after that?
"I think we just made some silly mistakes. The entire first half we were beating ourselves. When we pulled to within 6 or 7 we needed to buckle down and run our offense but we didn't do that. They capitalized on that."

You had a pretty good first half, but when they were making that run in the second half, you weren't able to do anything about it. What were they doing differently on you?
"They played their zone but pushed up on it a little bit. We didn't make the correct decisions in the second half. We should have drove a little more and kicked. But, the credit goes to them, they took us out of our gameplan."

Jason Krayl (9 pts, 1 reb, 3 turnovers, 19 minutes)

On the first play of the game, you guys committed a turnover. Were you nervous at the start of the game?
"That may have set the tone for the game a bit. We have a lot of young guys who haven't participated in this type atmophere before. We knew they were going to make runs and we did a good job in the first half of staying with them until the very end. Eventually, our mistakes caught up with us. We knew they were an SEC team and are ranked in the top 10 for a reason."

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 You can contact him by emailing

Gene's Page Top Stories