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Huge Basketball Win; Disappointing Baseball Losses

Posted by Kevin on February 26, 2008

Mississippi State rebounded this weekend after last week’s loss at Ole Miss by beating South Carolina 61-56 in overtime. In the closing moments of a back-and-forth second half, neither team could cash in on free throws that could have potentially ended the game in regulation. Down 49-47 with 17.6 seconds remaining, MSU’s Jamont Gordon drove the floor and launched a 3-pointer that – of all things – got stuck between the rim and the backboard off of Charles Rhodes‘ tip. The Gamecocks gained possession and the Bulldogs fouled Evaldus Baniulis with 6.1 seconds remaining. Baniulis, who had not attempted a free throw all season long, missed his first attempt but made his second to put Carolina ahead 50-47.

On the inbounds pass, Gordon streaked down the floor and looked to take what was to be the final shot of regulation, but instead passed to a wide open Ben Hansbrough. Hansbrough took the open three as time expired. How the shot did not fall is a mystery to me. The ball was in the basket nearly below the rim before it ricocheted out. Gamecocks win, right? But wait… there was a foul on the play. Baniulis, who failed to seal the game with his free throws, fouled Hansbrough. After much discussion, 1.1 seconds were put back on the clock and Hansbrough was sent to the line three free throws and State trailing 50-47.

As cool as the other side of the pillow, Hansbrough stepped to the line and calmly sank all three free throws. Carolina narrowly missed a desperation shot at the buzzer as the game went into overtime. In the OT period, State gutted out a much needed win to push their SEC West lead back to two games after Arkansas lost to Kentucky earlier in the day.

After a dominating win by the Bulldogs in Friday night’s opener, State looked poised to sweep the season-opening series against the North Florida Ospreys; however, UNF had other plans. UNF had an answer for everything State did offensively in the early goings on Saturday and exploded for 11 runs in the 6th and 7th innings to take Saturday’s game 17-9.

On Sunday, State never even got started, dropping a 5 spot to the Ospreys in the bottom of the first inning. State never recovered, losing 11-6.

A disappointing opening series by all counts. Of course, it’s just one series. It’s hard to measure what this means for the season, but I didn’t one glaring pitching trend that seemed to carry over from last season. State pitchers were pitching from behind in the count far too often all weekend long. When you give a batter a 2-0, 3-1, or 3-0 count you’re just asking for trouble.

MSU hosts the UAB Blazers this Tuesday in a mid-week game to kick off a 14-game home stand. Coach Ron Polk will send freshman Forrest Moore to the mound. This weekend, the Bulldogs will host first-time opponent Air Force.


One Response to “Huge Basketball Win; Disappointing Baseball Losses”

  1. Clif said

    Bring on the madness!!! March is just around the corner.
    Go DAWGS!!!

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