March 5, 2012

Bulldogs upbeat about SEC Tournament

This time last week Mississippi State appeared to be on the verge of crumbling.

The Bulldogs had lost five straight games and were spiraling out of contention for the Big Dance. But MSU reeled off two wins to close out the regular season and are confident heading into the SEC Tournament.

"We're going into the tournament on an upbeat note coming off that losing streak that we had," said MSU assistant coach Phil Cunningham. "We had a must win game Wednesday at South Carolina and just somehow found a way to win that. It's really amazing to see how one win can change the level of confidence in the locker room. It did that to this team and I think we showed that on the court Saturday against Arkansas. Our attitude and body language was different than what it's been the past couple of weeks and really displayed itself on the court as well."

The five-game losing streak was the longest by a Bulldog team in six years. Two of those games went into overtime and three took place on the road. Starters Renardo Sidney and Rodney Hood were also out of the starting lineups for the Auburn and Alabama games respectively.

Things reached a breaking point last Monday when junior forward Arnett Moultrie publically questioned his teammates desire to get back on track and make a run in March.

"When you're involved in a losing streak, especially this time of year, it becomes a big issue to the media and the fans," Cunningham said. "Everywhere (the players) turn whether it be on campus or the internet they're talking about a losing streak and it's all negativity. For us to get a win just brought some life back to them.

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