Opening Comments... "This was very big for us and for me. I haven't known victory down here and we had to work very hard to get it. When we got down by eight points, I decided to go to our press and I think that turned the game back in to our favor. The press definitely helped slow down the momentum and assisted in our zone defense as well. We had to be the aggressor and we stayed that way through the rest of the game. It was a great game even if you didn't care who won. Both teams played very hard but we were able to make some great plays and win the ball game. Jeff Taylor played very well tonight and John Jenkins did a great job getting to the foul line."
On Jeffery Taylor's steal and dunk... "Well Jeff is a phenomenal athlete. Anybody could have made that steal but I don't think anyone else besides Jeff could've finished the play like he did. For him to get that and-one dunk was huge for us and quite impressive."
On getting a big road win... "This should give us a big measure of confidence. We've knocked on the door on the road all year long and I've consistently told my players that at some point the door will eventually fall. Every one of our games has been competitive and we've had chances to win but we just have not finished like we should. We put ourselves in the position to get the road win and made the plays we needed to."
On his last free throws... "The free throws were good. I was glad the last one sunk when I needed it to. It felt good to get those knocked in."
On the win in Starkville... "It was good that it was coach's first win here. I am glad that we got it here and won it for him."
Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Stansbury
Opening Comments... "I want to give Vanderbilt credit. They made the plays you had to win the game. That is a sign of a very good basketball team, and I said a long time ago that they are one of the better teams in the league. Vanderbilt has a lot of toughness and Kevin does a great job with his team. I am very proud of our basketball team. We did not win the basketball game, but I told my guys to leave everything on the floor. What I was looking for in this game was competitiveness and some fight. I never told them to be perfect, but I just wanted us to be competitive and to fight and we did that. We just happened to make some bad plays at the wrong time."
On final turnover ... "All I know is it is a turnover, but that play did not beat us. That play was just a play that added to it. We had a couple more just like it that lead to baskets. That play did not beat us."
On spark on offense... "We need all the sparks we can get against a team as good as Vanderbilt. We need everybody clicking, but what I was proud of was that our team fought themselves into a position to win. We did not close it out, but let us understand that we need to stay together. It is a long season and we need to keep finding ways to get better. That is our challenge."
On turnovers forced by Vanderbilt defense... "We threw some lazy passes and fatigue was a problem. We just had lazy, fatigued plays down that fi nal stretch where you have to be tougher and we were not."
Mississippi State Players
#15 Riley Benock; Sr. G
On trying to limit Vanderbilt's free throw opportunities... "That was definitely something we were trying to keep them off the line. We did not want to give them any easy points from the line because they have a lot of good free throw shooters. When you are playing as hard as we were tonight you are going to pick up some fouls, and it just caught up with us tonight."
On not letting tonight affect the next game... "It can be a good thing or a bad thing. We can learn from this game tonight, but we cannot dwell on it. We have to put it behind us and get ready for the next game. We know we have another good team coming in, and we really need the win."
#2 Ravern Johnson; Sr. G
On finding his stroke tonight... "Yeah I think I played better tonight than I have been playing. I was a little more selective on the shots I took, and I was just more confident. All I have to do is just keep taking good shots and stay confident in myself."
On what went wrong tonight... "We just started playing a little too fast offensively. We took a lot of quick shots and could not get any rebounds. They got a little momentum, and they just kept feeding off of every missed shot we had. When they got the lead at the end they never slowed down."