February 13, 2012

Putting loss in the past

Thursday night Mississippi State celebrated a dominating win over instate rival Ole Miss.

But the feeling the Bulldogs experienced on Saturday was far from that. MSU was upset by Georgia in overtime by two points playing with little enthusiasm and energy.

"It's very obvious that we came off a very emotional game on Thursday night and had a quick turnaround Saturday morning," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "Our team just didn't play at the level that you have to play at in this league. If you don't then anybody can beat you. Georgia came in playing very well and we weren't at our best. Give them credit, they did what they had to do to get that victory."

The loss snapped a 13-game home winning streak by the Bulldogs and marked just their second loss at the Hump this dating back to Nov. 9. It also dropped MSU down to 23rd in the polls.

Stansbury has prided himself over his career on having a solid defensive squad. But this year State is 11th in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. The Bulldogs are surrendering 66.6 points on 42.9-percent shooting to their opponents.

"There's times and moments where it's not what you want it to be that's for sure and then there's been other moments when it's been very good," Stansbury said. "The consistency is not where you want it to be. That's one thing you want to take on that road. You want to be able to defend and rebound on that road and those are two things that have to be constant. It's very obvious that it hasn't been as constant for us as we'd like it to be."

Mississippi State will be preparing their defense to face a potent LSU offense that shot 43.3-percent against them on Jan. 25. The Tigers lost 76-71 in that contest but guards Andre Stringer and Anthony Hickey were effective driving the lane off ball screens scoring 17 and 16 points respectively.

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