Zimmerman led the Bulldogs with 8 assists in 21 minutes of playing time, while Lincoln Smith was high man in rebounds with 8. Mississippi State dished out a season-high 31 assists.
After leading at halftime, 49-29, the Bulldogs showed a killer instinct by pulling away in the second half, outscoring the Indians by 17.
Mississippi State shot 58.4% from the field (57.% from 3-point range), while holding UL-Monroe to 35.4% on the night (26.9% from 3-point range).
The 9-0 start this year is the best for the Bulldogs since the 1961-62 season when they went 10-0.
Counting the last nine games of last season, the Bulldogs have now won 15 of their last 18 games.
Next up for the Bulldogs is Georgia State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Classic for Kids in Atlanta, Georgia. Game time is set for 2:15 pm CT.
MSU COACH RICK STANSBURY QUOTES:
"I'm really pleased with the way our team played after the first four or five minutes. They really seemed to turn it up energy-wise. I thought we came out a little slow. After the first four minutes, I thought the whole game changed from the defensive standpoint."
"Another thing that I thought we did very good, especially when you do it when you have a big lead, was our kids sharing the basketball. We had young men who could have been selfish and made some plays for themselves, but everybody that played really shared the ball."
"We wanted to win this ballgame without expending too much energy from our starters. I thought our starters did exactly what they had to do in the second half. We came out and established the game the first four or five minutes and didn't have to play them the rest of the way."
"I thought we had great bench play. Lincoln Smith, Ontario Harper and Roy Goffer gave us some good basketball."
"I am pleased with the win but now we have to get ready to play in less than 24 hours against a very good Georgia State basketball team."
"We played this game without Michal Ignerski who I thought was becoming one of our best basketball players in the last few games. He has a sprained ankle. He will be out tomorrow. We hope we will have him back for the Las Vegas Classic."
Was this Timmy Bowers best game since the injury?
"Yes. I don't think I played him much in the second half (5 minutes). I really thought in that little stretch he really got us going. That was the Timmy before he got hurt. I felt that Timmy Bowers, before he got hurt, was our second best offensive player on the team and our best perimeter offensive player. Timmy is a guy who can shoot it and penetrate to the hole. He has the mid-range game. He also has the ability to pass it. He is going to be a terrific player for us. He is probably 75 to 80% where he was prior to getting hurt."
Is this team having fun playing together? They appear to be.
"This bunch has great chemistry. I've said that from day one. There is a very special chemistry among this guys. It comes from sharing the basketball. It is a lot of fun, win or lose, when you have guys who are team players and are very coachable. That is what this team is like."
You had a nine point lead in the first half only to see UL-Monroe work it down to three. Then you pushed the lead up to twelve and they seemed to never be able to stop your guys from expanding it. Did you do something different, defensively?
"I just thought that our defensive energy got going. I thought that we got a lot of easy plays (offensively). We took it to their two big kids early and got both in foul trouble. Both of those kids went to the bench early in the first half."
How important was to give (freshman center) Marcus Campbell minutes today?
"It is important to give him some playing time. The biggest thing you look for in this game is for the young kids to show the coach that they can do some things that the coach has been looking for."
How important was it to get Roy Goffer back out on the court?
"He gives us some basketball skills and basketball instinct. I didn't think his conditioning wasn't there. He always gives you the ability to shoot the basketball and to make instinctive basketball plays."
Talk a little about playing Georgia State tomorrow.
"We are going to find out a lot tomorrow at 2:15. Georgia State is the only team to have defeated Georgia. Georgia has defeated Georgetown, Minnesota and Georgia Tech. It would be a difficult game anyway but under these circumstances, playing this afternoon, then having to fly out and not being able to practice before we play will be very difficult. That is part of it."
MARCUS CAMPBELL QUOTES:
What did you learn today?
"I learned how much I need to work on my defense."
How good do you feel this basketball team can be?
"We are going to be really, really good. We really jell good together. We have fun playing together."
Is it tough on you having to sit so on the bench after being a starter in high school?
"I understand it now but at first I didn't. It was tough coming from high school where everything revolves around maybe two people and in college you have to work your way up. I've never had to work my way up. It is a learning experience."
DERRICK ZIMMERMAN QUOTES:
Talk about the offense of this team.
"This team has a lot of weapons. On any given night anybody on this team could score in double digits and have a big game. The main thing with this team is to give the ball to the guy who has the hot hand. We are playing together."
How important is the upcoming Las Vegas tournament for this Mississippi State team?
"We are looking at the games in Vegas as a stepping stone on the national level. A lot of people are probably thinking we are a fluke right now. It is going to give us a chance to show the world that we are for real. With our confidence that we have right now, we are ready. We want to show teams that when they play Mississippi State they need to come ready to play."
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 email@example.com.