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Mississippi State women’s basketball loses to Florida as Jessika Carter battles injury

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Mississippi State women’s basketball loses to Florida as Jessika Carter battles injury


STARKVILLE — Mississippi State women’s basketball entered Sunday riding a five-game winning streak, one that started on Jan. 22 at Florida. The same program that helped MSU start its best SEC stretch since the 2019-20 season was the one that put it to an end.

Florida (13-9, 4-6 SEC) thumped Mississippi State at Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday 90-70, leading by 21 at one point. The Bulldogs (20-6, 7-4) were able to trim it to 11 in the fourth quarte, but couldn’t consistently string together stops, and they turned the ball over 20 times.

Florida shot 61% from the field, including 70.4% in the first half. Despite having four players score in double figures, coach Sam Purcell’s squad was out of the game for the majority of the afternoon.

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Jessika Carter injured but returns to game

Less than four minutes in, MSU forward Jessika Carter was injured after landing awkwardly on a put-back attempt. She was on the floor for an extended period of time, banging her fist on the court in disappointment.

Carter was helped back to the Mississippi State locker room. However, she emerged back on the bench shortly after and rode a stationary bike before checking back into the game early in the second quarter.

She had a noticeable limp on the court, and when she was on the bench, she was typically on the stationary bike. During halftime, she stayed on the court to do work with strength and conditioning coach Kaiti Jones.

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Carter finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Prior to the game, she was honored for surpassing 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. She’s only the third player in program history to reach those marks.

HOT TOPIC: Mississippi State’s Sam Purcell stands up for Lauren Park-Lane after Geno Auriemma comments

What’s next on Mississippi State’s schedule?

Mississippi State has a week off before renewing its rivalry with Ole Miss on Feb. 18 (3 p.m., SEC Network+) in Oxford. MSU won the first meeting Jan. 14, holding Ole Miss to just six points in the fourth quarter in the 69-57 victory.

The win was Purcell’s first against Ole Miss in two seasons at Mississippi State. The Rebels won four straight after the loss in Starkville, but they’ve dropped their past two, including against Texas A&M on Thursday at home, 72-53.

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Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at skrajisnik@gannett.com or follow him on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, @skrajisnik3.





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Mississippi

Mississippi State basketball coach Chris Jans runs sprints after technical foul vs. Ole Miss

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Mississippi State basketball coach Chris Jans runs sprints after technical foul vs. Ole Miss


STARKVILLE — Mistakes in games lead to punishments in practice, and coaches aren’t exempt from it. Mississippi State basketball coach Chris Jans learned that the hard way on Thursday.

A day after the Bulldogs beat rival Ole Miss inside Humphrey Coliseum, the second-year MSU coach was forced to run sprints in practice because he picked up a technical foul in the victory. Here’s how it looked:

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Jans picked up his technical foul shortly after Ole Miss coach Chris Beard got one for arguing with the officials.

Postgame, Beard pointed out that Mississippi State (18-8, 7-6 SEC) shot 39 free throws to Ole Miss’ 12. He also noted that MSU forward Jimmy Bell Jr. and Tolu Smith combined for zero fouls.

“I’m just reading what’s on the stat sheet,” Beard said postgame. “I won’t let my personal opinion be known because that’s not how college basketball works. Two physical players, in an SEC game, late in February, they played 40 minutes at the five spot and have zero fouls in the game.”

MORE FROM THE WIN: Why Cameron Matthews is key to Mississippi State basketball’s March Madness hopes

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Mississippi State has won four straight games. The Bulldogs return to action Saturday at LSU (14-12, 6-7).

Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at skrajisnik@gannett.com or follow him on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, @skrajisnik3.





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Mississippi University for Women pauses name change for third time in 2024. See the latest

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Mississippi University for Women pauses name change for third time in 2024. See the latest


Officials at Mississippi University for Women can’t seem to make up their minds.

After holding a ceremony on Feb. 13 to announce a new name, Wynbridge State University, there are published reports that MUW, which has struggled with its identity in recent years, is again pausing its attempt to change its name.

“In order give our entire community time to regroup and consider all perspectives, we will take a strategic pause at this time as we continue to work toward a future name change,” MUW President Nora Miller said in a Wednesday, Feb. 21 letter to alumni.

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Search for a new name

In early January, university officials put out a press release announcing that they were considering changing the school’s name to Mississippi Brightwell University.

What’s in a name? What is The W’s new name now? Whatever it is, it will still be ‘The W’

How long will this go on? Will MUW proceed with new name, Mississippi Brightwell University? Time will tell

The university has been in search for a new name for more than 20 years to more accurately reflect the demographics of the school.

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MUW officials said that more than 4,300 people participated in a survey about a name change. This included alumni, university faculty and staff, enrolled and prospective students and community citizens.   

The backlash

After significant backlash on social media, the 2,000-student public school in Columbus broadened its effort to include more names for consideration.

Then came the announcement last week to re-name the school Wynbridge State University of Mississippi.

After the Jan. 9 release of the Brightwell name and subsequent backlash, the university then sent out an email to students and alumni, saying, “the Naming Taskforce has been working hand-in-hand with our communications agency Chernoff Newman to find a name that will allow us to continue to use The W branding. In keeping with our desire to hear from many constituencies, we are asking for feedback and suggestions from alumni, faculty, staff, and students.”

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3 names

After reviewing the suggestions, three names were presented for consideration by Chernoff Newman:

  • Wynbridge: The first part of Wynbridge comes from the Old English word for the letter W. Wyn was paired with bridge, which “connects the past to the future, our alums to our students, and our campus to our community.”
  • Welbright: The first part of Welbright comes from the idea of wellness, “which represents our supportive environment that promotes the well-roundedness of our students.”
  • Wynbright: The first part of Wynbright comes from the Old English word for the letter W. “Traditionally each graduation ceremony begins with a reminder of the historic purpose of the University, to ‘study for light to bless with light.’”

What alumni think

One MUW alum, Marie Harris of Gulfport suggests getting rid of the search process.

“What to rename Mississippi’s excellent university in Columbus? Just name it The “W,” Harris said. “Make it official. It’s unique. It’s what we alums call it anyway. Whether it’s The W or The “W” or “The W” … let the only disagreement be where to put the quotation marks. And when out-of-staters ask us what the W stands for, we can say We the People … or We Are Amazing … or We Can Be Whatever We Want to Be!”

Another alum, Mary Thomas Watts, who graduated from the school when it was known as Mississippi State College for Women more than 50 years ago, says she believes there is an honest effort to make a good decision.

“College students need something different than they did when I was in school,” said Watts, who now lives in Ohio. “I was not against the Wynbridge name. To me, it spoke to me more than the Brightwell name. With meaning for Wynbridge being a bridge between the past and present. I think they made a good case for that. I guess we will just wait for the next announcement. Ultimately, I have such great respect for the institution and gratitude for the education I received from there. I just want to see it grow and prosper. If a new name can make that happen, I am for it.”

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However, the Mississippi Legislature will ultimately decide the matter, requiring an actual bill that includes the university’s new name to be passed and signed by Gov. Tate Reeves.

MUW fans who’d still like to comment on the matter or suggest a new name have that opportunity at NameChange@muw.edu.

Here is a complete list of the names that have been considered to this point.

Ross Reily can be reached by email at rreily@gannett.com or 601-573-2952. You can follow him on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter @GreenOkra1.



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State of Mississippi Rejects Resolution Passed by the City of Oxford to Allow Sale of Antebellum Home Cedar Oaks

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State of Mississippi Rejects Resolution Passed by the City of Oxford to Allow Sale of Antebellum Home Cedar Oaks


The City of Oxford Board of Aldermen voted on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 in favor of passing a resolution to allow a sale of the city-owned antebellum home.

Voting in favor of the resolution were Aldermen Brian Hyneman of Ward III, Kesha Howell Atkinson of Ward IV, and Preston Taylor of Ward V. Voting against the resolution were Aldermen Rick Addy of Ward I (where Cedar Oaks is located), Jason Bailey of Ward VI, and new Alderman-at-Large Mary Martha Crowe.

Because Ward II Alderman Mark Huelse was absent from the meeting, there was a tie, which triggered Mayor Robyn Tannehill to cast a vote. Mayor Tannehill voted in favor of the resolution to allow a sale. The audience at the Board of Alderman meeting erupted in a chorus of “boos” and walked out.

On Wednesday, February 21, Mayor Tannehill posted an update to social media which read, “At 8:00 this morning the City Clerk received an email from Shane Barnett, Chairman of the House Local and Private Committee announcing that the committee would only be considering resolutions for local and private legislation that had passed from the local entities with a unanimous vote. Mr. Barnette also noted that the new deadline for submission of such legislation would now be March 22, 2024.

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The City’s vote on local and private legislation last night related to the public trust language that preceded the warranty deed from Cedar Oaks, was not passed by a unanimous vote. Therefore, Oxford will not pursue the change in Local and Private Legislation considered at last night’s Board of Alderman meeting.

I look forward to community discussions regarding how Cedar Oaks can be more sustainable, in the best interests of all the citizens of Oxford.”



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