Tide Shoots Lights Out In 75-43 Rout
Alabama shot lights out, connecting on its first five three-point shots of the second half – three by Trevor Lacey in just over a minute – and the Crimson Tide rolled to a 75-43 win over Mississippi State.
Alabama improved to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in Southeastern Conference play. Mississippi State fell to 7-8 and is also 2-1 in league games.
Alabama was playing without three-year starting point guard and leading scorer Trevor Releford, who sat out after having suffered an ankle injury Monday.
The Crimson Tide returns to action in Coleman Coliseum hosting Texas A&M at 5 p.m. CST Saturday.
Alabama had an eight-point lead, 30-22, with a flurry just before halftime, and then hit 11 of its first 12 shots to start the second half. Bama hit five three-point shots before the Bulldogs scored in the second half to open up a 45-22 lead.
Sophomore guard Levi Randolph led the Tide with 18 points, which tied his career-best, followed closely by sophomore guard Rodney Cooper's 17 points. Sophomore forward Nick Jacobs added a career-best 16 points while sophomore guard Trevor Lacey chipped in 11 points.
"This was a great win for us," UA Coach Anthony Grant said. "I thought we did a great job on the defensive end of the floor. Coming into the game, I thought Mississippi State had been outstanding defensively. We felt like we could have some success pressing and picking the tempo up a little bit and I thought our guys did a great job on being focused and sticking with our game plan."
The contest was close until late in the first half, when the Tide began a run that put the game away. Trailing 19-18 with 7:36 left in the opening stanza, Alabama went on the 12-3 spurt to take a 30-22 lead into intermission. UA then opened the second half with 15-straight points on five three-point baskets, three of which came from Lacey.
In all, the 27-3 run which spanned halftime lasted 11:25 and turned a 19-18 deficit into a 45-22 lead with 17:04 remaining in the game.
The Tide finished the contest shooting 53.4 percent (31-of-58) from the floor and a season-best 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from beyond the arc. UA also controlled the boards with a 35-23 edge on the boards, including 13 offensive rebounds that resulted in a 13-2 edge in second chance points.
Alabama was equally impressive on the defensive end of the floor, forcing 21 turnovers to own a big 25-11 advantage in points off turnovers. The Tide finished with a 12 steals and held the Bulldogs to 35.6 percent shooting from the field and 27.8 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
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