Monday, March 20, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Mississippi State's CAVS Extension to continue role in manufacturing partnership
Mississippi State University's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension in Canton has secured an additional five years of federal funding, ensuring it will continue to play a key role in the state's Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology recently announced $12 million in first-year funding to operate partnership programs in 11 states, including Mississippi, which received $1.03 million. CAVS-E Director Clay Walden said he is pleased to continue supporting the state's manufacturing economy.
 
Flexibility may be key to marketing 2017 crops
As you plan how you will grow your 2017 crops, you also need to be planning how to sell them, according to marketing specialists with Mississippi State University. But the process shouldn't end there. Brian Williams, assistant Extension professor with MSU, says growers should consider revisiting their marketing plans as they get into the season to make sure they match up with changing realities of crop conditions and supply and demand fundamentals. Dr. Williams was one of several Mississippi State University agricultural economists who provided thoughts on marketing the 2017 crops during Extension Service Marketing Workshops at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville and the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona on March 8 and 9.
 
Former Truman Presidential Library director to headline lecture series at Mississippi State
A former director of the Harry S Truman Presidential Library will be the keynote speaker at the 15th annual John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Speaker Series, which will take place Wednesday, March 22 at 2 p.m. in Mitchell Memorial Library's Grisham Room on the Mississippi State University campus. Michael J. Devine, a longtime member of the Ulysses S. Grant Association Board of Directors, will deliver Wednesday's featured lecture. His presentation is titled "Presidential Libraries: An Inside Look." The lecture series is sponsored by MSU Libraries in honor of the Marszaleks.
 
Starkville-MSU Symphony concert Saturday will proclaim 'Spring is in the Air'
The Starkville-MSU Symphony, under the direction of Barry E. Kopetz, will be in concert Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall on the campus of Mississippi State University. This concert is the sixth and final concert of the 2016-2017 season and will feature works by von Suppe, Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Barber, Strauss Jr. and Kopetz. The program opens with "Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna" by Franz von Suppe. This selection is an overture that would precede an operetta. Overtures for operetta rarely related to the actual story, but served to get the attention of the audience and to set the scene for the entertainment.
 
Mississippi State band staff presents U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus concert
Known for its long tradition of free public performances, the United States Army Field Band's Concert Band and Soldiers' Chorus will present a Tuesday, March 28 evening concert at Mississippi State University. Free to all, the 7:30 p.m. performance by the Washington, D.C.-based "Musical Ambassadors of the Army" takes place in historic Lee Hall's Bettersworth Auditorium. Though admission is free, tickets are required for entry and can be reserved by calling the MSU band office at 662-325-2713. Ticket requests also may be mailed to Mississippi State University Bands, P.O. Box 6162, Mississippi State, MS 39762.
 
Glow run on campus to raise money to fight cancer
A cancer foundation started by a Starkville woman's family will host its tenth annual 5K on Mississippi State University's campus. The Kim C. Gee Ovarian Cancer Foundation aims to spread awareness of ovarian cancer and raise money for research. The run will begin on the Junction on campus on Friday, March 31 at 6 p.m. Participants may register at the ACS events website. This is the foundation's second year partnering with the American Cancer Society. It has donated over $110,000 to the ACS for research. The tenth annual race will be "Fight Cancer Glow Run."
 
Candidates ready to compete in region's college towns
In Oxford, three incumbent aldermen and a new mayor will sweep into office with no opposition, while in Starkville a sprawling field of candidates are competing for municipal offices. Both cities have a seven-person board of aldermen, and both cities also saw incumbent mayors decide against seeking new terms. In the Starkville mayor's race, Johnny Moore, Damion Poe and Lynn Spruill are competing to replace the incumbent Parker Wiseman. All three candidates are Democrats. That means the means the next mayor of Starkville will be decided by the outcome of the Democratic primary. Many of the city's races for the Board of Aldermen are crowded, with four races featuring fields of three candidates.
 
After Weird Winter, U.S. Forecasters See Warm, Wet Spring
If you liked the balmy weather that dominated on the U.S. East Coast and much of the South this winter, you will probably enjoy the spring of 2017, too. The new season, which officially begins on Monday, should bring more of the same in both regions, forecasters say, though for the East, a final twist of winter weirdness will have to play out before the region basks in the warmth again. Spring, which starts with the vernal equinox at 6:28 a.m. EDT on Monday, will begin warmly but Wednesday's temperatures are predicted to plunge into the 20s and teens in the U.S. Northeast, with a snowstorm possible in the Midwest, according to Accuweather.com. NOAA is calling for a wetter-than-normal spring on the Gulf Coast.
 
$7B in projects on Mississippi road wish list
Governors and transportation officials along the Gulf Coast are asking the federal government to help foot the bill for billions of dollars worth of projects that would expand bridges, widen highways and even build ferries to boost the region's economy. Governors from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi were among the states to recently submit infrastructure projects to the White House they say are ready to go with the help of federal funds. Gulf Coast officials say their financially strapped states need federal aid not only to maintain aging infrastructure, but fund projects that could spur growth in key industries such as oil and gas and agriculture. "This would really enhance commerce and the economy of this state," said Melinda McGrath, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
 
Analysis: Fight not fading over Confederate emblem on flag
The Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag is an issue that won't die, even when legislative leaders say firmly that there's no consensus to either change the banner or to force it to be flown in public places where it has disappeared. The persistence of the fight has been abundantly clear the past couple of weeks in the state House of Representatives. Republican Rep. William Shirley of Quitman tried to amend several bills to put financial pressure on the eight public universities to display the flag. All have furled it because of the Confederate emblem that critics see as racist. Mississippi is the last state with a flag that prominently features the Confederate battle emblem, years after Georgia redesigned its banner.
 
Medicaid deficit still not resolved
Medicaid officials still are saying the health care agency will need an additional $89 million in state funds to get through the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. At this point, legislation is alive that would provide Medicaid a maximum of $43 million -- less than half of what Medicaid Executive Director David Dzielak said as late as last week is needed for the current fiscal year. "We're going to look for extra money. I don't know where," House Appropriations Chairman John Read, R-Gautier, told colleagues recently when explaining the budget holes facing Medicaid and other agencies because of sluggish revenue collections. Medicaid faces a deficit nearly every year, but because of the state's sluggish revenue collections, the issue could be particularly perplexing this session.
 
Government building to be named for Alan Nunnelee
A state office building could soon be named for a Mississippi congressman who died in 2015. Legislators have passed the final version of Senate Bill 2564 , to name the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality headquarters as the Patrick Alan Nunnelee building. It is in downtown Jackson. Nunnelee, who went by Alan, was a Republican from Tupelo. He spent 16 years in the state Senate starting in 1995, eventually becoming chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Nunnelee died in February 2015 after experiencing several months of health problems, including a brain tumor. He was 56.
 
Appalachian Regional Commission funding in question
Crystal Snyder was trying to figure out life as a single mom when she lost her job at a West Virginia T-shirt factory. The 37-year-old had no college degree, mostly because she married at 16, divorced at 19 and had two children. Unsure what to do, Snyder heard about a program through the Coalfield Development Corp. that would hire her and pay for her to get an associate's degree. Now she works full time for one of the nonprofit's agriculture offshoots. "I'm learning how to be a farmer. I'm growing food, I'm going to school," she said. "It has helped me in ways I can't even understand yet." Coalfield Development Corp. is a nonprofit funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The ARC is a 52-year-old federal agency that seeks to create jobs in 420 counties across a 13-state region that includes much of Northeast Mississippi. The ARC's Mississippi office is in Tupelo. It's also targeted for elimination by President Donald Trump.
 
Lawmakers fear infiltration of defense supply chain
Lawmakers are worried about the vulnerabilities of the Defense Department's supply chain and the risk of adversaries inserting malicious material into Pentagon weapons systems. "For a sophisticated adversary, this complex, multi-tiered supply chain offers numerous targets for attackers to potentially subvert the design, integrity and resilience of key national security assets," Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told The Hill. Members of Congress have raised questions about the potential for U.S adversaries to embed malicious material into warfighting platforms, allowing them to be compromised during operations. While supply chain risks are nothing new, lawmakers have demonstrated more interest in them as the U.S. military has become more reliant on high-tech weapons systems and networks.
 
Burying Their Cattle, Ranchers Call Wildfires 'Our Hurricane Katrina'
Death comes with raising cattle: coyotes, blizzards and the inevitable trip to the slaughterhouse and dinner plate. But after 30 years of ranching, Mark and Mary Kaltenbach were not ready for what met them after a wildfire charred their land and more than one million acres of rain-starved range this month. Dozens of their Angus cows lay dead on the blackened ground, hooves jutting in the air. Others staggered around like broken toys, unable to see or breathe, their black fur and dark eyes burned, plastic identification tags melted to their ears. Young calves lay dying. Ranching families across this countryside are now facing an existential threat to a way of life that has sustained them since homesteading days: years of cleanup and crippling losses after wind-driven wildfires across Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle killed seven people and devoured homes, miles of fences and as much as 80 percent of some families' cattle herds. Beyond the toll of the fire, a frustration also crops up in conversation after conversation. Ranchers said they felt overlooked amid the tumult in Washington.
 
The Legacy Of The Mississippi Delta Chinese
Think of the Mississippi Delta. Maybe you imagine cotton fields, sharecroppers and blues music. It's been all that. But for more than a century, the Delta has also been a magnet for immigrants, including one immigrant group in particular: the Delta Chinese. The first wave of Chinese immigrants came to the Delta soon after the Civil War, and the pace picked up by the early 1900s. The Chinese originally came to work picking cotton, but they quickly soured on farming. They started opening grocery stores, mostly in the African-American communities where they lived. United in their Chinese heritage, the Chow family of Clarksdale are divided by their passionate school loyalties. Sally and the Chows' daughter Lisa went to the University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss. Gilroy and their son Bradley went to Mississippi State. The family even has a football changing-of-the-flag ritual. Whoever wins the Egg Bowl each year gets to fly their school's flag on top, right in front of the Chows' house. This year, MSU's flag is on top.
 
The W's Homecoming celebration set for upcoming weekend
Mississippi University for Women invites alumni, friends and guests to a weekend filled with entertainment and activities for Homecoming festivities Thursday through Sunday, March 23-26. Homecoming events kick off Thursday at 4 p.m. with the Homecoming Court Presentation in Hogarth Student Center, W Room. From 5-6:30 p.m., the Dinner Party in the Caf will include food, music and student performances. Tickets are $9 and payable at the door. The Gordy Honors Forum will feature Jeanie Thompson who will present The Myth of Water: Poems from the Life of Helen Keller at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium, Parkinson Hall. The presentation is free and open to the public. At 8 p.m., students' work will be showcased by the Department of Music in Kossen Auditorium, Poindexter Hall. This event is free.
 
UM's Chi Psi Fraternity makes a comeback
Just a decade after Ole Miss was founded, Chi Psi Fraternity came to campus. And just a decade after electing to go dormant due to low membership in 2007, the Alpha Gamma chapter marks another historic moment on Sunday as it celebrated the rebuilding of its Fraternity Row lodge and revitalization of its chapter. Ed Coleman, a 1987 alumnus, has been busy with many of the lodge's particulars since construction began in September 2015. The lodge, which sits across from Bishop Hall, was developed with newer building technology. "All of our sheetrock is impact-resistant sheetrock, which is what you need when you have a bunch of boys living in a house," Coleman said. Chi Psi's return to campus began in January 2013, when Chi Psi Central Office staff arrived to implement a values-based recruiting model already used in successful revival efforts.
 
April interviews set for Jackson State presidency
College Board trustees say they expect to begin conducting interviews to find a new president of Jackson State University in April. Higher Education Commissioner Glenn Boyce announced the plans at Thursday's trustee meeting. A 33-member campus advisory committee will meet to recommend finalists. Trustees led by C.D. Smith of Meridian would conduct initial interviews April 19 and 20 in Jackson. Board members typically hold a second round of interviews later.
 
Auburn Presidential Search: Is decision made? Trustees ready to vote, but with less transparency
Whispers about whose names are on Auburn University's short list for its next president started almost immediately after the university's board of trustees announced this week that it will vote Monday to select President Jay Gogue's successor. At the same time, some affiliated with the university express concern about the lack of transparency late in the search process. Meanwhile, one name on that short list, multiple sources told the Opelika-Auburn News, is that of Iowa State University President Steven Leath, whose experience in agriculture and leadership at a land-grant university could make him an attractive pick for Auburn. However, no matter who becomes the next Auburn president, there are faculty members who say they are disappointed the search process only included one public event and various meetings with constituent groups at the beginning of the process, but no opportunity to be involved in its conclusion, if indeed a decision is made Monday.
 
Beagles, monkeys and mice: How U. of Kentucky uses animals for research experiments
In a tiled, windowless room at the University of Kentucky, Meagan Stetler and Toma Matott are playing with six beagles. The dogs trot around the room, wag their tails and poke Matott with wet noses as they look for the can of Cheese Whiz she holds. Though they look like pets, they are actually laboratory animals bred for research. In this case, it's an Alzheimer's study sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, which means UK officials say they can't divulge any details about what's happening to the dogs. When it's over, the dogs will be euthanized, or sent to another facility for more testing. It's not easy to take care of lab animals, says Stetler, a lab animal technical supervisor, as she cuddles with one of the older beagles. "It's very hard, but that's the whole reason to do it," she said. "They give us their whole selves for the improvement of health for all of us, and they deserve to be loved." Somewhere in the same facility are 45 monkeys, crab-eating macaques that are being used for research on the hardening of arteries. UK would not allow Herald-Leader journalists to see them, saying that humans could pose a danger to their health.
 
U. of Florida medical students learn fates at 'Match Day'
Excitement and anticipation permeated the J. Wayne Reitz Grand Ballroom Friday as fourth-year University of Florida medical students learned where their next stop will be. March 17, a day known to resolute medical students as "Match Day," young doctors across the nation discovered where they had been accepted to complete their residency. "Students found out this past Monday, by email, whether they matched with a program," said Megan Kimmel, communications manager for UF Health Communications. "But they didn't know where." In the past several months, students filled out anywhere from 20 to 100 applications and underwent as many as 15 interviews across the country for various residency programs. They ranked their top choices and let the National Resident Matching Program take it from there.
 
Growth presents opportunities, challenges for U. of Missouri's engineering, health professions programs
Hidden beneath a decrease of 1,914 undergraduate students at the University of Missouri from 2015 to 2016 are two schools that have seen their respective enrollments skyrocket in the past eight years. Since 2008, the MU College of Engineering undergraduate population grew by more than 1,000 students. In that same time period, the School of Health Professions enrollment has nearly tripled, according to data from MU's division of enrollment management. College of Engineering Dean Elizabeth Loboa said that the enrollment growth over the last decade is a positive reflection of the college, but that the college has not been hiring faculty at the same rate. "The challenge we're facing in the College of Engineering is the student-faculty ratio. If you look back in 2006, the student-faculty ratio was about 20 to 1," Loboa said. "We are now at a 32 to 1 student-faculty ratio. That is a bad situation for both faculty and students."
 
20% cut to NIH budget would leave Americans more vulnerable to cancer and other diseases, experts warn
A future in which cancers are cured, heart disease prevented and devastating brain disorders reversed may just have gotten a bit more distant, leaders of the nation's leading biomedical research organizations said Thursday. In a budget blueprint that promises to "make America great again," the Trump administration has proposed to cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health's budget for fiscal year 2018, reducing its total spending to $25.9 billion. That would represent a roughly 20% decrease from its 2017 spending on biomedical research, which totaled $31.7 billion. Leaders of scientific organizations across the country vowed to fight the proposed cuts. They warned that the administration's proposal would blunt progress in improving the nation's health and pointed to a recent congressional history of robust bipartisan backing for biomedical research.
 
Science advocates dismayed by size of cuts proposed for NIH and other agencies
The White House budget proposal released last week would have devastating effects on science and technology in the United States as well as the education of the next generation of researchers, say organizations representing scientists and research institutions. The budget document from the Trump administration -- a broad outline of the full budget due later this spring -- calls for reducing the funding of the National Institutes of Health by $5.8 billion, or nearly 20 percent. Cuts to federal research programs in the White House budget blueprint went well beyond the NIH. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research office saw a proposed cut of more than 50 percent; the Department of Energy's Office of Science would be cut by 17 percent; and the Environmental Protection Agency's R&D office would see a 48 percent cut. Those offices make grant awards or even operate research facilities on the campuses of research universities.
 
Campuses take a stand when protests go too far
The students turned their backs. They read in unison their objections and chanted. Unable to start his campus talk, libertarian Charles Murray was escorted by college officials to another room where his speech could be streamed on the internet. The March 2 confrontation at Middlebury College got worse. The incident -- and violent protests a month earlier that prompted University of California, Berkeley, officials to cancel a speech by now former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos -- are causing some liberal arts schools to take a long look in the mirror: Are they really places where controversial views can be aired and debated civilly? Or, as protesters assert, are they giving a platform to speakers who espouse hate? Although violence is rare, campus activism aimed at discouraging or disrupting controversial speakers has become increasingly common -- and the pushback to it is growing.
 
Sex assault reports up at Navy, Army academies
Reports of sexual assaults increased at two of the three military academies last year and an anonymous survey suggests sexual misconduct rose across the board at the schools, The Associated Press has learned. The new data underscore the challenge in stemming bad behavior by young people at the military college campuses, despite a slew of programs designed to prevent assaults, help victims and encourage them to come forward. The difficulties in some ways mirror those the larger military is struggling with amid revelations about Marines and other service members sharing nude photos on websites.
 
Canadian universities post large gains in international applications
Leigh-Ellen Keating, who directs international services for Brock University, in Ontario, just attended a student recruiting fair in Mexico. "The table was flooded with people, which is not historically what I have seen with the Mexican market," she said. "They just want to go to Canada, and historically I think a lot of them would go to the States." "It didn't hurt," Keating continued, that the recruitment fair coincided with an anti-Trump rally in front of the hotel where the fair was held. She suspects some of the rally participants might have popped over to check out college options in Canada. "Mr. Trump, he's not bad for our recruitment strategy," Keating said. At a time when many American universities are reporting declines in applications from international students, some universities north of the border are seeing increases on the magnitude of 20 percent or more.
 
Fuel diversification real lignite plant issue for Public Service Commission
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "What will natural gas prices look like over the next 40 years? ...The only knowable thing about natural gas prices is they are volatile. When Mississippi Power Company proposed its Kemper lignite plant to the Public Service Commission (PSC) over a decade ago, traditional coal-fired plants were under attack by environmentalists and EPA and natural gas prices were high, averaging $7.81 at Henry Hub from 2005 through 2008. The company and the commission deemed it prudent for Mississippi Power to pursue an alternative fuel source for its next baseload power plant. The alternatives were nuclear and clean coal. Given Mississippi's vast, cheap lignite deposits, the clean coal alternative was chosen. All know what happened next."
 
Leaders can't agree on road problems, much less solution
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "For two years the debate over increasing taxes and-or finding other money for road and bridge work has centered mostly on state-maintained roadways. A plan pitched -- so far unsuccessfully -- by the Mississippi Economic Council calls for tax increases earmarked for $300 million a year more for state road work and $75 million a year split between counties and cities. Other, similar plans focused primarily on state roads have been floated. But some lawmakers are questioning whether the Legislature should focus more on helping with local roads and bridges. They question whether there's even truly a need for more money for state infrastructure, or whether money for the Mississippi Department of Transportation work could be shifted to local projects."
 
Uncompensated care numbers make state hospitals vulnerable
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "While the national debate over Republican efforts to 'repeal and replace' the Affordable Care Act continues, hospitals in Mississippi face the future with the ongoing realities of the uncompensated care they are compelled by law to provide. The debate begins at understanding a 1986 law that compels almost every hospital (all that accept Medicare) to provide health care to people who walk into emergency rooms seeking that care regardless of the ability of the patient to pay. ...In a state with Mississippi's depth of poverty and high rate of uninsured patients, the law puts community hospitals in the fiscal crosshairs. Community hospitals provide, on average, about 60 percent of all the uncompensated health care delivered in this country."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State rolls past DePaul to earn return trip to Sweet 16
Vic Schaefer had to leave his court-side seat Friday afternoon because he wasn't feeling well. Watching a possible opponent like the DePaul women's basketball team execute on offense can make any coach sick to his stomach. But Schaefer and Mississippi State are becoming more adept at making their opponents feel ill, too, especially when they have to consider all of the options they need to try to stop. Those weapons were on display early and often Sunday afternoon, as Blair Schaefer tied for game-high scoring honors with 18 points and Jazzmun Holmes had a career-high 14 to lead second-seeded MSU to a 92-71 victory against seventh-seeded DePaul before a crowd of 6,035 in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Humphrey Coliseum.
 
It's two sweet: After close first half, Bulldogs breeze
No. 7 Mississippi State was clinging to a one-point halftime lead over 19th-ranked DePaul in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. But the Bulldogs began to create some separation midway through the third quarter by going on a 16-2 run and punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row with a 92-71 victory. "I feel like we really came out and executed during the third quarter," said MSU guard Blair Schaefer. "We really talked about it at halftime that we needed to instill our will out there. We did it the first half but we felt like there was still more that we could put out there. We really executed both offensively and defensively." No. 2 seed MSU (31-4) moves on to play the winner of tonight's Oklahoma-Washington game Friday in Oklahoma City.
 
Bulldogs advance to Sweet 16 after defeating DePaul
Blair Schaefer ran down the length of the court with an ear-to-ear smile and her fist clenched in the air with 3:49 left in the third quarter. She had just nailed an open 3-pointer from the left corner after Teaira McCowan found her out of the post. MSU held a 14-point lead at that point. A few plays later, Jazzmun Holmes celebrated at half court with the enthusiasm and aggression of a comic book super hero that suddenly came to life after the Bulldogs created a turnover. The crowd of 6,035 at Humphrey Coliseum rocked. And Vic Schaefer? He stood near the MSU bench with his arms crossed and for the first time had nothing to rage over. The game wasn't over and nothing was certain, but the inevitable was written all over Blair Schaefer's face, Holmes' excitement and Vic Schaefer's composure.
 
Jazzmun Holmes, Mississippi State advance to Women's Sweet 16
Mississippi State's role players have become stars and the stars are often role players. Bulldogs' coach Vic Schaefer saw a 29-win team that was struggling on offense going into the NCAA Tournament and blew up the playing rotation in mid-March. The results, at least so far, have been fantastic. Blair Schaefer scored 18 points, former Harrison Central High standout Jazzmun Holmes added 14 and Mississippi State pushed past DePaul 92-71 on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Schaefer and Holmes were two who rarely played at times during January and February. Now they're the two main reasons Mississippi State is going to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season. Dominique Dillingham, who had started 19 straight games before the NCAA Tournament and is now coming off the bench, said no one is questioning their coach's logic.
 
Bulldogs' inside game proves too much for Blue Demons
The Mississippi State women's basketball team's "two-headed monster" was load to handle Sunday afternoon. Buoyed by a combined 20 points and 18 rebounds from centers Teaira McCowan and Chinwe Okorie, second-seeded MSU defeated seventh-seeded DePaul 92-71 in the second round of the NCAA tournament before a crowd of 6,035 at Humphrey Coliseum. MSU (31-4) will take on the winner of the game tonight between third-seeded Washington and sixth-seeded Oklahoma at a time to be determined Friday in the Sweet 16 in Oklahoma City. McCowan, who earned her second-straight start, had eight points, nine rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 17 minutes. Okorie added 12 points and nine rebounds (five offensive) in 20 minutes to help the Bulldogs control points in the paint (52-28) and second-chance points (19-10). "I think those two are kind of feeding off each other," MSU coach Vic Schaefer said.
 
Notebook: Bulldogs set tone in final home game for seniors
Vic Schaefer wanted to set the tone Sunday. After all, this wasn't just another game. This was the last time seniors Ketara Chapel, Dominique Dillingham, Chinwe Okorie, and Breanna Richardson were going to play in Humphrey Coliseum. That's why Schaefer tried to find the right message to give to his players prior to the second-seeded Mississippi State women's basketball team's game against seventh-seeded DePaul in the second round of the NCAA tournament. "I talked to our kids today in pregame about who we are and what we're known for," Schaefer said. "We talked about toughness, resilience, competitive spirit, not getting out-toughed, not getting outhustled. I thought we really embraced that coming out."
 
Team Schaefer makes DePaul pay
Sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes for Mississippi Today: "For the first time in her basketball life, Blair Schaefer felt goosebumps. Mississippi State was playing traditional women's basketball power DePaul in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A crowd of just over 6,000 sounded like 60,000 in the Hump, as the Lady Bulldogs stretched their lead in the third quarter. At one point, the ball came to Schaefer in the corner and, without hesitating, she launched a long 3-pointer that hit nothing but net. ...Vic Schaefer, the fifth-year MSU head coach, figures a lot of people are now asking where he was hiding his daughter during the regular season. And while he is certainly pleased with how she has played lately, he is anything but surprised. 'There's no moment too big for her,' father said of daughter."
 
Mississippi State softball upsets No. 11 Alabama
When the Mississippi State softball team knocked off Troy 2-1 two weeks ago at Nusz Park, it was not a season-changing event. Perhaps it was. In the sixth inning, Troy scored and had the potential go-ahead run on base, MSU coach Vann Stuedeman went to the mound and reminded Holly Ward it was her game. Ward worked around trouble in the sixth and seventh innings to throw a complete game. At the time, Stuedeman said it was a critical test for the mental composure of her talented junior right-hander. She called it a dress rehearsal for when the team had bigger games later in the season. On Saturday night, the big game came and Ward passed the test again. With Ward throwing a two-hit shutout, MSU defeated No. 11 Alabama 1-0 before a crowd of 1,056 at Nusz Park, evening the weekend Southeastern Conference series at a game apiece.
 
Alabama softball wins streak snapped by Mississippi State
The Alabama softball team's 20-game winning streak ended Saturday night in Starkville as Mississippi State earned a 1-0 decision. Alabama (27-3, 4-1 SEC) was shut out for just the second time this season, with its two hits tied for its lowest offensive output of the season. Mississippi State (22-6, 2-3 SEC) had a no-hitter until the sixth inning, scoring its lone run in the second inning following a fielding error.
 
State suffers defeat to close out SEC opening weekend
Mississippi State dropped the final game of its Southeastern Conference baseball series Sunday afternoon, falling 6-1 to Arkansas at Baum Stadium. Arkansas improved to 17-4 overall and 3-0 in league play, while MSU fell to 12-9 and 0-3. The Bulldogs were held to one run in two of the three losses in the series. The Diamond Dawgs will retake the field on Tuesday for a midweek matchup with Southern Miss at Trustmark Park in Pearl. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and fans can listen to the game live on the MSU Baseball Radio Network.
 
SEC Basketball, in Football's Shadow, Seeks to Regain Its Old Luster
Once upon a time, Alex English said, the iron of the basketball rim had the same magnetism for boys in his neighborhood in Columbia, S.C., as the iron of the football goal posts. The phenomenon of modern Southeastern Conference football -- with its 100,000-seat stadiums, lucrative television deals and coaches with multimillion-dollar contracts -- had not yet swallowed up basketball in the South. "Basketball was not second to football," English said. "It was an equal for us." Southern universities --- or at least those outside the Atlantic Coast Conference and the SEC powerhouse Kentucky -- have long been trying to bring back to basketball the luster that has waned in the shadow of the behemoth that is college football. "One of the things I have thought a lot about since I became commissioner is that we should be better at men's basketball," said Greg Sankey, who took over as the SEC commissioner last year. " In the last four years, SEC programs have hired Rick Barnes (Tennessee), Bruce Pearl (Auburn) and Ben Howland (Mississippi State), who have coached in a combined 90 N.C.A.A. tournament games.



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