After 4-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, the 2005-06 season was a rebuilding year for Mississippi State.
Losing all five starters typically does that to a team, yet the young Bulldogs had plenty of talent and found their way to an 11-3 start, including a victory in the first SEC game against Arkansas.
State slumped hard after that, though, and went 1-9 during a stretch of six road games and four difficult opponents at home.
When ole miss rolled into town on February 18th, State sat at 12-12 and desperately needed a win.
Meanwhile, ole miss was aiming for their first series sweep since 1998, after defeating the Bulldogs in Oxford in early January.
It was "Throwback Weekend" in the SEC, and the Dogs wore uniforms reminiscent of the early 70's for the national ESPNU broadcast.
The Bulldogs held a slim lead most of the early-going, but Dwayne Curtis' layup after the 8-minute media timeout tied the game at 22.
State dominated the final minutes of the half, consistently getting good looks and earning free throws. Meanwhile, the rebels were held to 2-12 shooting and the home team took a 38-26 lead into the locker room.
ole miss continued to be ice cold in the second half, starting 2-13 from the field, and Reggie Delk caught fire from the far right corner, hitting 5/6 threes. State started the half on a 27-6 run, and were doubling-up ole miss 65-32 with 11:05 left in the game.
In under 16 minutes of game time, State used a 43-10 run to turn a 22-22 tie into a 65-32 lead.
Check that again. A FOURTY-THREE to TEN run.
The exclamation point came at the end of the run, when Rhodes' emphatic put-back dunk extended the lead to 33. After throwing down a slam in front of the student section, Rhodes yelled in the face of several rebels and drew a technical foul, sending the raucous crowd into a frenzy of approval.
"I just had a lot of emotion for this game," Rhodes later said, grinning.
The Bulldogs cruised to an 84-55 win, with Jamont Gordon, Dietric Slater, Reggie Delk, and Charles Rhodes all scoring at least 15 points.
6'4" Jamont Gordon hounded the smaller Todd Abernethy all day and held the rebel leader to 2 points on 1-6 shooting and 5 turnovers.
The player of the game was Dietric Slater, who simply out-hustled the rebels to 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 7-11 shooting.
Afterward, Slater said, "They were on the court talking a lot, and we wanted to shut them up."
And that, they did. The rebels were denied the sweep of the Bulldogs, something they still have yet to accomplish since Richard Williams' final season 17 years ago.