On the offensive side, MSU was led in scoring by Timmy Bowers, who scored 25 points, 17 of which were scored in the first half to help give MSU a 35-19 halftime lead. Mario Austin contributed 14 points.
Auburn was led in scoring by Marquis Daniels with 17 points. Daniels was 7 of 17 from the field.
MSU now heads to Lexington Sunday afternoon to face the Kentucky Wildcats in front of a nationally televised audience on CBS television.
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE:
MSU Coach Rick Stansbury:
About the game:
"There is no question to go on the road and win at Auburn, there were two things that you had to do to have a chance; defend and rebound. I thought that our team executed both man and zone (defenses) about as well as you can do it on the road. We outrebounded them by 10 and held them to 30-something percent shooting for the game (38%). We basically did a tremendous job contesting their three-point shooters. I think they were 4 for 21 from that line which meant that they shot a lot of them, which is what we wanted. We wanted to keep that ball out of the inside and take our chances with their perimeter guys. I thought that our perimeter guys were quick enough to post down and contest. We did a tremendous job on Byrd. Byrd is a young man who has been shooting the ball well for them. He was 0-for-4 and didn't score. It was a great team effort. I was proud of our kids for coming over here so focused. This was a game that had extra emphasis put on it."
SEC West lead:
"I told my kids in the locker room that they played like they wanted to win a championship. There is no question that they took another big step toward it here (at Auburn)."
"We got great play from Timmy Bowers. I thought, in the first half, offensively, he was tremendous for us. He finished the game with 25 points."
"I thought that Zimmerman did a great job controlling the game, controlling that press. They pressed us for about 30 minutes and Zimmerman did a great job of not turning the ball over, getting the ball to certain people. He controlled the flow of the basketball game."
"Branden Vincent did something again that doesn't show up in the stats. We put him on Marquis Daniels in the second half and he did a tremendous job. I don't think that Marquis scored on him the entire time he was on him."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org