March 8, 2010

Stansbury searching for answers

Rick Stansbury sat down in the same chair at the same table Monday afternoon as he did Saturday evening following Mississippi State's 75-59 loss to Tennessee.

In the day and a half time span that had elapsed, Stansbury was still no closer to an answer of what happened to his team as they fell behind 17-0 in the opening minutes. Sure, the veteran head coach has asked himself plenty of questions since the final horn sounded but remains unaware of exactly what went wrong.

"Can you believe that I've thought about it quite a bit since we walked out of that press conference?," Stansbury said. "I have. I've chopped everything up that we did before, the many different ways that we've done things. I've asked myself what could I have done different for us not to have been like we were early in that game? Did we prepare in any way differently? Did we do anything different? Could we have done something different? And unfortunately I come up with the same answer."

In less than six minutes into the game, the Volunteers jumped out to a 17-0 lead and MSU was never able to recover. The Bulldogs were only able to cut the deficit down to single digits once in the second half which lasted only 11 seconds.

"We got hit in the mouth so quick, five minutes and 40 seconds," Stansbury said. "We didn't have a chance to play bad and get behind nine or 10 and then get on a roll. We got down 17 and cut it back to 11 by halftime. We never got it back. I never felt like we were a serious threat in that game. We cut it to nine one time and it goes from nine to 15 quicker than I could turn around and sit down probably. They never gave us a chance to get any emotion going into the building."

State missed their first eight shots of the game that included three 3-point attempts and two free throws. The Bulldogs also committed four turnovers during that span while Tennessee made seven of their first 10 shots.

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