UALR Head Coach Steve Shields

UALR head men's basketball coach Steve Shields talked to the media about his team's 83-53 loss to Mississippi State Saturday night.


Keys to the game. - "I thought our inability to stop the (15-0) run (by MSU) at the end of the first half was a critical point in the game. We didn't handle an adverse situation at that point. On top of that, our inability to set the tempo of the game and our inability to control the glass were also factors. We were down 25 to 11 in rebounds in the first half. They had 11 offensive rebounds at the half. And we didn't do a very good job against Lawrence Roberts. And that's not taking anything away from him as a player. He is a tremendous player. We tried to double him, but we let him loose a couple of times on the baseline . He's a great player and you can't give him angles like that."


What did they do defensively to shut you down late in the first half?
"They did a good job of getting out in the passing lanes and pressuring us. When we got the ball inside, they are so big and physical defensively. But you also have to give them credit from an effort standpoint. Mississippi State is a great basketball team. We all know that. They are very good athletically and a dominate team. And when you are struggling offensively like we were doing at that time, you have to try to get an extra shot or two and we weren't able to get on the offensive glass."

They really dominated you on the boards.
"One of our keys coming in was to have five good block outs on the defensive end everytime down the floor. And that was something that we didn't get tonight. Normally, we are a pretty good fundamentally sound defensive team, but during that stretch we weren't."

This was your 5th game in 12 days. Do you think that affected your team?
"We played the four games in 8 days, then we came here and played the 22nd ranked team in the country. It's been a grueling stretch for our basketball team. We had handled it well until this point. We had won three of our last four with the only loss being at Southwest Missouri State in the championship game of their tournament. I feel certain that this team will bounce back."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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