, Mississippi (PressExposure) February 28, 2009 -- To say the loss of Mississippi State to Auburn University on the 28th of February at Humphrey Coliseum was disappointing would be an understatement. For the first time this season Mississippi isn't in first or second place. They've dropped to third.
The Bulldogs have now lost three in a row and five of their last six, while the Tigers have won the last six of seven.
This marks the first time Auburn has won at Humphrey Coliseum and the first time they've swept Mississippi since 2000.
Despite their 7-2 lead at the beginning of the game and out-rebounding Auburn 35-32, Mississippi fell to Auburn 76-58, losing at home for the fifth time this season.
Their five point cushion at the beginning of the game would be the only time the Dogs would take the lead. Auburn went on a 13-0 run to hold Mississippi with no score for the next 8:22. Mississippi only shot 27 percent in the first half with just 2 of 11 tries at the arc. They turned over 21 points to Auburn due to turnovers, leaving bulldog fans booing and leaving the stadium empty.
"That's disappointing coming from your fans, but the people inside [the team and the coaches] are the only people that believe we can win anyway. Everyone else hopes we can win. When they do stuff like that it is disappointing but it's about us." Phil turner said on how it felt to hear the fans booing them.
Five Mississippi starters scored in the double digits, but 6 players came off the bench for a total of 35 minutes and were unable to score. The tigers scored 36 points off the bench.
Jarvis Varnado sank 6 of 11 field goals leading Mississippi with 14 points and nine rebounds. Phil turner and Dee Bost netted 12 each and Barry Stewart and Ravern Johnson both contributed 11.
"I know at the half it was very balanced. We had a lot of guys with six points which is what you like to see." Jeff Lebo, coach for Auburn said. "When you have that kind of balance it is hard to concentrate on certain people. We got a little bit from everyone on the team tonight."
Auburn answered with Frankie Sullivan leading with 14 points. Lucas Hargrove and Rasheem Barrett added 12 points each and Braden Knox sank 10.
Mississippi coach Rick Stansbury said of the game, "I did not think we had what we needed to win tonight for whatever reason. We have had some tough losses this season, but I do not think I have gone into the locker room this season after a tough loss thinking our guys did not leave it all on the fl oor. I don't have an answer for whatever reason that happened. I do know this though, Auburn was the better basketball team tonight and they wanted to win tonight more than we did. Being young is no excuse for our play and Jeff (Lebo) had his team prepared better than I had my team prepared."