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Today in MSU History: Water Bottles on the Court

February 16, 2010

Mississippi State University |

Looking back, this may have been the moment when the wheels started falling off of Stansbury's bandwagon. But no one expected that coming in, as a Hump-record 10,788 fans came to see Mississippi State take on #2 Kentucky.

State entered the game with a somewhat disappointing 6-4 conference record, with all four losses by 7 points or less, and would play the game without the suspended Ravern Johnson, MSU's leading scorer. New head coach John Calapari and his freshman class with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins led the #2 ranked Wildcats. As many of Calapari's teams have been, the 2010 Kentucky team was filled with young, highly-talented, cocky players, and when MSU students got their hands on Cousin's cell phone number, well, it just made game-week that much more interesting.

The first half was tightly-contested, mostly played within a margin of 5 points. Sometime during the first half, DeMarcus Cousins broke free for a dunk and looked into the student section, holding his hand to his ear, yelling "Call ME!" Kentucky took a 3 point lead into halftime.

State quickly cut into the lead in the 2nd half, but it just seemed like the refs had an agenda. Jarvis picked up his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fouls in the span of 37 seconds, and he was essentially cemented on the bench with 17 minutes left to play. Without Jarvis, Kentucky abused the paint and State relied on threes to keep it close. With 8 minutes left, Varnado came back in, but only lasted 2 minutes before being whistled for his 5th foul. Still, State somehow found themselves up 7 with 3 minutes left.

Then it all changed. DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson were allowed to do whatever they wanted in the post, eventually tying the game and sending it into OT. In the final 3 minutes of regulation and 5 minutes of overtime, State was out-rebounded 11-2 and was whistled for 9 fouls. Kentucky? 0. Kentucky shot 16 free throws in overtime. SIXTEEN.

The end result was an 81-75 overtime loss, with the record-attendance crowd upset with the apparent lop-sided officiating towards the end. The frustration boiled over in the student section as several individuals threw water bottles on the court as the Wildcats and the refs exited.

I certainly don't condone throwing anything on the court, but I did relate with their frustration. And sadly, that's probably the last bit of passion that I recall seeing from our basketball fanbase.