by Barca Blog
Recap: [W1] Miss. State 75, [E4] Florida 69
AP -- Barry Stewart scored 17 points and hit five late free throws as Mississippi State held on to defeat Florida 75-69 in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinals on Friday night. More
MSU's Jarvis Varnado on the team's mentality:
"I feel like we have nothing to lose. We just come out here to play hard and play together. We had success last year in playing together, and we wanted to keep that focus coming in this tournament."
MSU coach Rick Stansbury on keeping players attention off NCAA talk:
"It's impossible to keep them away unless I lock them in the closet and take away their phones and all that. It's everywhere you go nowadays.You can't watch TV unless you're hearing about it. You can't walk anywhere unless someone is talking to you about it. And all these kids nowadays have these phones that's a walking computer. So they see it all day long. We don't talk about it. You guys (the media) do enough talking about it without us having to say it."
Florida coach Billy Donovan on NCAA possibilities:
"I have no idea. I really don't. I say this all the time. I think the only thing I try to focus on is the day in front of you and the team in front of you, and that's Mississippi State. I have no idea about what really a whole lot of teams have done in different conferences. I think we've played a very, very competitive schedule. We've had some really, really good quality wins. If that's good enough, then so be it. We'll wait and see what happens on Sunday."
*Mississippi State reaches the SEC tourney semifinals for the third straight year. They are the defending champions.
*The loss was Florida’s first against an SEC West opponent this year. They were 6-0 entering the contest vs. SEC West teams.
Mississippi State will face the winner between Vanderbilt and Georgia. For complete coverage of the tournament, go to SECsports.com.