Remembering the 2004 Season – Road Warriors

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Road Warriors

After the Kentucky loss, MSU reeled off another winning streak…this time it was eight games. Road trips to LSU, Florida, Auburn, South Carolina and Arkansas were all part of it. This team was winning every game on the road in a sport where you aren’t supposed to win on the road. The “Road Warriors” mantra was starting to take hold. T-shirts were even made to celebrate that success in hostile environments.

Most of the time State won comfortably…by 10 or more points. But that wasn’t the case at South Carolina. The game went into overtime ending in a thrilling victory. The Bulldogs found themselves behind by a large margin again, this time 66-54 in the 2nd half. They came charging back and ended regulation on a 17-5 run. The final three points were on a 3-pointer by Timmy Bowers with seven seconds left to force OT.

The season was so exciting, and you just knew State would win every game. Being on the road didn’t matter at all. On the Saturday we played Vanderbilt some of my buddies woke up to an empty Starkville that morning and decided to head to Nashville. Another win in enemy territory. Driving nine hours round trip in one day didn’t matter when you were following this team – it was all worth it. We always won.

12-0 on the road. 8-0 in the SEC. And the 8th was the sweetest of them all. Despite losing to Kentucky earlier in the year they had lost three SEC games putting them behind MSU for the SEC Championship. A win over a good Alabama team (who went to the Elite 8 that year) in Tuscaloosa would clinch the championship – State’s first since 1991 (first outright since 1963). It was an incredible game with many highs and lows. The Dawgs were down by as many as 18 points, then with eight minutes to play, down 64-48, Shane Power hit a couple 3’s and before we knew it the game was tied at 67. The Timmy Bowers drive, the thrill of the comeback, a championship….you remember.