The year was 1986 and Game six of the World Series had reached the 10th inning. The Red Sox with a 5-3 lead looked to be poised to win the World Series Crown. All they had to do was get three outs on a Stingy New York Mets team.
New York tied the game - then a Mookie Wilson bloop shot down the first base line went through the legs of sure handed first baseman Bill Buckner and the Mets pulled off what seemed to be an impossible win.
Boston would loose an eventual Game 7, never recovering - giving the Mets the World Series Title.
Fast forward to last night. Mississippi State (19-7 overall and 6-5 in league play) cruised to a seventeen point lead at Pete Maravich Assembly Center over the LSU Tigers (15-10 - 5-6) and looked to be poised to blow the Tigers out of their own gym. But remember, this is Mississippi State basketball we are talking about.
LSU then finally found an offensive rhythm. A 9-2 run was capped by a John Isaac jumper, bringing the Tigers within 10 at 32-22. LSU's Ralston Turner drained a 3-pointer from beyond the arc as the half expired giving State now only a seven point advantage at the break. Said Stansbury, “That was a five-point swing and it was really big in the ballgame,”
Both teams battled back and forth before ultimately making it to over time. What was a huge lead for the Bulldogs now became a fight for survival. After Brian Bryant sank one of two free throws to tie the game at 67 - the Tigers Anthony Hickey slashed his way through the State defense knocking down a jumper in the lane breaking a tie score with three seconds left. LSU 69 Bulldogs 67. And with tha tMississippi State completed one of the biggest choke jobs I remember recently. Even Bill Buckner would be proud of this one.
Yes its tough to win on the road and yes basketball is a fickle game but remember what I said yesterday? This is now or never for this Bulldog team. A few observations.
Mississippi State plays rarely with heart. Most of the time they look as if they are just going through the motions. Up by 17 the bulldogs should have floored the Tigers. They didn't, they let them sneak back in and eventually win.
Rick Stansbury - why do you have no offensive plays? It's pass, pass, pass, pass, shoot. Its been this way for a long time now. Very few designed plays and if the three ball is on- your good. If not, well we know.
The lack of play production also silenced Arnett Moultrie. After going off on LSU just a few weeks ago, Moultrie was super quiet in this one.
Big Pompa Renardo Sidney. Ok dude look, first off why can you not get into shape? Secondly, why can you not play defense? Sidney is such a liability for the dawgs on the defensive end that its not even funny. State may as well be playing five on four on the defensive end. Teams have figured out - go right at Sidney. He is going to watch you score like he is sitting in the stands eating a hot dog.
Simply put with all this nonsense - this team has become a train wreck. What was a promising season is now looking like possibly an NIT year and for Rick Stansbury that's not good.
Five games left Rick - five. The rope just got tighter on his neck and its up to him as the head man to right the ship.
Buckner never imagined he would let a bloop shot go between his legs during a crucial time to cost his team a monumental feat. Stansbury much like Buckner never saw this coming and I'm afraid the ball has gone between his legs and this season is now over.