Phil Turner: The Last 9.6 Seconds

Mississippi State forward/guard Phil Turner takes us step-by-step through the last 9.6 seconds of the SEC Tournament Championship Game.

The last 9.6 seconds seemed like an eternity to the fans. What was going through the players' minds while it was going on?
Phil Turner - "We were thinking that we had worked too hard for another one to slip through our fingertips. The two overtime loss to LSU here (in Starkville). The overtime loss to Alabama over there. We just kept fighting and kept believing because we knew our time was going to come."

Walk us through that last 9.6 seconds step-by-step from the time of the timeout until the time the game ended?
"(Head) Coach (Rick Stansbury) didn't have much to say other than to say that we needed to stay together and we would pull it out. And (Assistant) Coach (Phil) Cunningham did a great job with the scouting report today. I remembered the lineup selection and the play that they like to run. And Barry (Stewart) was shading one side of them and my man was taking the ball out. The play they run there is when Tyler Smith steps in and either he will post up or he is going to come off a curl screen. I knew there wasn't enough time for him to come off of a curl screen, so I thought to myself that he was going to try to step in and post up. The first time it worked with us getting a five-second count. The second time I felt like he was going to do the same thing, so he passed it to J.P. Prince I shaded out with Barry. Then, he stepped in and I remembered Coach Cunningham saying that in the scouting report early this morning."

When you stole the ball what went through your mind at that very moment?
"I grabbed the ball, then he fouled me. Then, there was a delayed whistle and I thought, 'oh man, I really hope they call this foul.' And the next thing I knew he finally called a whistle and said, '25, you are shooting.' "

They called timeout after you were fouled. What went through your mind during the timeout?
"We practice real hard and I knew that I had to go up there and knock down the shots. I tried not to think about it."

How do you not think about the pressure knowing there was an NCAA Tournament bid on the line?
"It's repetition. You go over times like this when you are working in the gym by yourself. You put scenarios in front of you. So, I told myself I had made this shot before."

And you weren't nervous at all?
"I wasn't nervous."

When you made your first shot what went through your mind then?
"I knew I was going to make my second one."

What happened after you made your second shot?
"Coach (Stansbury) said don't let them shoot a three. He said when they get across midcourt foul them. But unfortunately, when they got across half court, Tyler (Smith) jumped up like he was going to shoot it and then he passed it and that guy was wide open. But fortunately he missed the shot and Barry came down with the rebound."

What did you do right after Barry came down with the rebound?
"I just took my jersey off and threw it off to the side. I don't know who got my jersey (laugh)."

At least you have the SEC trophy?
"I got the trophy but I don't know where my jersey is (laugh)."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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