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Georgia takes advantage of State's lack of energy

February 12, 2012

Smith

The Mississippi State Bulldogs woke up on the wrong side of the bed Saturday morning and failed to protect the home court.

A 13-game winning streak at Humphrey Coliseum came to a close with a 70-68 loss in overtime to the Georgia Bulldogs.

It was a poor outing to say the least for 20th-ranked MSU against the next to last team in the Southeastern Conference standings.

The bottom line was Mississippi State didn't do enough to win and for some reason didn't get back up after an emotional 70-60 victory against rival Ole Miss on Thursday.

State coach Rick Stansbury called it a lack of energy after a quick turnaround, while junior forward Arnett Moultrie couldn't explain it. He was a man of few words in the postgame press conference.

Senior point guard Dee Bost was honest and probably said it best.

"We didn't bring it and that's what we get," Bost said.

The question then becomes is why didn't MSU "bring it?" Why does there seem to be a lack of motivation for this team at times?

Stansbury said the issue of having a lack of energy was addressed in the locker room after the game. He didn't share anything specific with the media, only to say that there wasn't any reason to be "upset" with the players. I think it's pretty safe to say that some of the fans are not happy and rightfully so.

"You are disappointed," Stansbury said. "You understand you didn't win and it's a challenge for us. There's a fine line there, but you move on."

There was another time earlier in the season when Mississippi State didn't "bring it" for a home game. Does anyone else remember the 68-58 loss to Akron?

MSU wasn't very good again and Georgia took advantage of it.

UGA coach Mark Fox said the respect his Bulldogs had for Mississippi State helped them.

"That played a part of us winning the game," Fox said. "We got ready to play and played very well."

The Akron game probably deserves a pass because it was a non-conference game played in early November.

To get where it wants to be, MSU just can't lose a home SEC game in February.

Now State has to make it up at home against Kentucky in nine days. Right?

The Bulldogs are going to have to play much better than they did Saturday to have a chance to even be in the game against the No. 1 squad in the nation on Feb. 21.

MSU had better not look too far ahead because it goes to LSU next on Tuesday. The Tigers are a team that played the Bulldogs close in Starkville (76-71) on Jan. 25.

It didn't "bring it" against Georgia, but Mississippi State had better take it to Baton Rouge for sure.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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