What were they doing differently in the second half compared to the first half?
"They came out and played harder than we did in the second half. I think we turned the ball over the first 5 possessions and that led to easy baskets for them."
Was it hard to recover from that?
"Yeah, it was hard to recover. They got on a run and had more energy than we had. And we just couldn't get any stops on defense."
Their coach was bringing in five players at a time. Did that wear your team down?
"No, it wasn't so much fatigue as us losing our composure. We weren't expecting them to press us like they did in the second half. We got a little rattled is all that happened."
What do you learn from a game like this?
"That no lead is safe. You always have to come out and play like it is zero to zero. You have to play like every possession is your last."
Talk about the difference in your team in the two halves.
"In the first half we came out ready to play. We knew they were going to try to get into us, so we came out and played team ball. In the second half, we came out too relaxed. Then they made a few shots, made a couple of steals and got back into the game."
What caused your team to be relaxed?
"We were probably overconfident."
At the end you appeared to be the go-to guy. Was that the case?
"Yes sir, every time. When the game is on the line, I want the ball in my hands."
What do you think was the reason for the poor free throw shooting in the second half. As a team, you shot 54%. Was that due to putting pressure on yourselves.
"It was probably due to fatigue."
Was their subbing so many players the reason you got so fatigued?
"Yeah, they kept subbing and subbing and we had the same five on the court. Because of that, we didn't have a lot of energy."
Do you feel like your team got a little overconfident after building up such a big lead in the first half?
"I don't think we came out with the same intensity and the same attitude like we had in the first."
Do you feel they played harder in the second half?
"Once they started making shots, their intensity went way up. We had limited them to 19 points in the first half, and in the second half they scored 47. That was a problem with (our) whole team. The first guy to the last guy didn't come to play in the second half, and it ended up costing us."
Are things like that prone to happen with an inexperienced and young team?
"Obviously it did, but we need things like that to not happen. Maybe this is a learning experience, but I don't like to lose to learn a lesson. I don't think you have to lose to learn a lesson."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.