Hoops: MSU 79, South Alabama 60

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Mississippi State knocked off South Alabama, 79-60, in men’s basketball tonight. Jarvis Varnado led MSU (7-3) with 21 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. Ravern Johnson had 12 points, and in his first start of the season, Phil Turner scored 10 points to go with four assists.

MSU shot 53.7 percent from the floor to USA’s 35.6. Now, some postgame quotes. First, coach Rick Stansbury:

• On recovering from Wednesday’s loss to Charlotte: “We bounced back tonight. I said when you get beat, sometime you make adjustments, and you kind of get embarrassed like we did last Wednesday, you make changes. And we made some wholesale changes. It wasn’t pretty, but it found a way to work for us tonight.”

• On a smaller lineup: “It opened up a lot of things. It opened up the post for Jarvis a lot. We had to get some energy and emotion on that floor, and there was a difference out there. There was an obvious difference. It created a lot of plays for other people.”

• On G Barry Stewart‘s injured wrist: “For him to take himself out of a game – probably doesn’t look good.”

• “Trust me, there’s a lot of risk in changing everything you’re doing, playing South Alabama. Because that was a very quality basketball team.”

• On effort: “I can remember Phil diving into that bench over there in the stands making that play. Ravern got it and we scored off that little transitions. That’s the kind of plays we weren’t getting enough of.”

Here’s what Turner had to say:

• “In practice, all the coaches have been on is toughness, toughness, toughness. I think everybody fed off everybody.”

• On drawing the start: “I wasnt’ too surprised. I’ve been working so when my name was called to come in and help the team, I was ready.”

Now, Varnado:

• On Turner: “He gives us more offensive weapons. He broke down the defense and got in the lane and dished it off a couple of times.”

• On how going small helped him: “They threw the lob, and that’s where I got most of my points tonight.”

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