February 18, 2009

Bulldogs take the fight to South Carolina

STARKVILLE, Miss., -The Mississippi State Bulldogs proved Wednesday night that there is still plenty of fight left in them.

The Bulldogs ended a two-game skid and kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a thrilling 75-70 comeback win over South Carolina in front of 6,894 faithful at Humphrey Coliseum.

"It came down to which team was going to find the most grit and determination to get this win tonight," said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury. "Our guys stepped up in the second half and made the plays we had to make. A big stat for us was outrebounding them and then we found a way to make some shots, especially down the stretch."

State improved to 17-9 overall with the win and upped its Southeastern Conference mark to 7-4 and remain in second place in the Western Division.

MSU proved how much they needed this game clinging to a 67-65 with 1:50 remaining. The Bulldogs held the ball for over a minute keeping the possession alive with two offensive rebounds and finally kicked the ball out to Phil Turner in the corner who rattled home a 3-pointer that did in the Gamecocks with 0:49 remaining.

"After that sometimes you know it was the nail in the coffin," Turner said. "They are a good team and anything could happen so we still had to stay focused. But it was a little breather and everybody exhaled after that shot."

Turner finished the game with his second double-double of the year scoring 16 points and setting a career-high with 14 rebounds and six steals.

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