MSU looks to rebound vs. Rebels

Mississippi State lost its first conference game 66-54 at No. 24 Missouri on Thursday. Bulldogs coach Vic Schaefer reviews the loss to the Tigers and previews Monday’s match-up with in-state rival Ole Miss. MSU players Ketara Chapel, Dominique Dillingham and Victoria Vivians also chime in.

Vic Schaefer

Opening Statement

“Obviously, we have a big game Monday night. It means a lot to a lot of people. I am looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity. Also, I am very anxious to see how we respond after a difficult night last night (at Missouri).”

On how he thinks the team responded last year after its first SEC loss…

“I think we responded well.  The LSU game was a knock down drag out here. I suspended Martha (Alwal), so she didn’t play. We certainly had our opportunity to win that ball game; it was a really tough game. Dominique Dillingham literally tried to carry us to victory. I would say we responded in a very positive way last year and competed at a very high level.”

On Ole Miss’ strengths…

“They are really athletic and have a lot of quickness and speed. They are going to press us. They play pretty hard, so those are all things that can give us issues at time. We will have to be ready, but I am sure we will be.”

On the rivalry between Ole Miss and Mississippi State…

“I think, like for any sport, you can throw the records out and the kids are going to compete hard. It’s a game that is meaningful to so many people. It doesn’t seem like there are any people that sit in the middle in this rivalry. You are either on one side or the other. You are either in or you’re out. I expect them to come in here and play really hard. I would be disappointed if we didn’t.”

On women’s basketball in the state of Mississippi…

“I am really proud of our crowds. We have free pizza and some t-shirts, but it isn’t like we are going out and giving away a thousand tickets. Our crowds have all been very legitimate. I think it says a lot about our state, which is a tremendous state. I don’t think it will be our largest crowd this season. It may be, but we have some other good teams coming in. Also, as the season goes on and if we do our part, we are still winning fans over. We are winning people that come see us play once, and they come back. It was a cold, drizzly day when we played Arkansas and we had 5,700. I am really proud of our fan base and what we have been able to do. I am proud to be in the state of Mississippi and be a part of it.”

Dominique Dillingham – Jr., G

On Thursday’s loss at Missouri…

“I think we just have to learn from it and move on and leave it in the past. We lost. We’re going to lose games, but we don’t want to lose anymore. We have to just learn from it.”

On what the team can take away after losing to Missouri…

“We have to play hard. Missouri really played hard and we didn’t play as hard as them at times, so we have to play hard all the time.”

“Both games [we lost] were on the road, but they were both games we could have won and should have won. So I think just like Texas, it’s a game we can learn from. After Texas we went on an 11-game win streak, so I think it’s just something that we can learn and grow from.”

On team’s ability to deal with loss earlier in the season…

“From Texas we started to develop more chemistry. Just like Missouri, our offense was not falling when we played Texas, so we definitely re-grouped after that and found our chemistry. I think we can just re-group and work on our chemistry and all the other things that we talked about.”

Ketara Chapel – Jr., F

On the loss to Missouri…

“We had a lack of communication last night, so we need to try to communicate better. We also didn’t have a lot of team chemistry last night, so we have to get back to that.”

On her own performance against Missouri

“Last night they left (Morgan William) and me open, daring us to shoot, and we couldn’t make a shot. We have to get back in the gym and get shots up.”

Victoria Vivians – So., G

On the Missouri loss…

“There was a lack of communication, and we didn’t play hard at times. I guess we got selfish. It was just a bad game for us. Nothing was falling and everything was just kind of out of rhythm.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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