A Look Back At Tide Win Over MSU

Much had been made of the Alabama men's basketball team having the lead at halftime in Southeastern Conference games that had been lost, as if it was somehow bad to have the lead at intermission. That's something like believing it would be bad luck to have a Heisman Trophy winner on your football team when you went to the National Championship Game.

Well, Coach Anthony Grant's Alabama Crimson Tide got that jinx out of the way. Bama was tough down the stretch of the second half, and that's why Bama defeated 23rd ranked Mississippi State, 62-57, in Coleman Coliseum Saturday.

It wasn't a great help, but it certainly didn't hurt that Alabama had a 27-26 lead over the Bulldogs at halftime.

Given the choice, Grant would appreciate having the lead at halftime when Alabama hosts LSU at 7 p.m. CST Wednesday, the final game in a three-game homestand. Alabama defeated LSU, 66-49, in the Southeastern Conference opener earlier this month in Baton Rouge.

Alabama's victory over Mississippi State broke a three-game losing streak for Bama and a three-game winning streak for the Bulldogs. The Tide is now 12-7 overall and 2-3 in SEC games.

LSU has been the biggest flop in the league this year, an 0-5 league record and 9-10 overall mark. The Tigers lost to Ole Miss by 73-63 in Baton Rouge Saturday.

Alabama basketball games are not often shooting clinics. That's because the Crimson Tide has demonstrated that it is not a good shooting team. Fortunately for Bama chances, Alabama has been very good on defense against opponents.

Alabama shot a season-worst 34.9 percent from the floor, its lowest percentage in a win since shooting 33.9 in a win over Alabama A&M last season.

But Mississippi State shot a season-low .317 from the field, its worst performance since shooting .312 against LSU on February 11, 2009.

Alabama has now held six of its last seven opponents to less than 40 percent shooting.

MSU didn't hit a three-pointer until 10:48 had expired off the second half clock and the Bulldogs finished with two three-pointers, 7.7 fewer than its SEC-leading season average. It was the fewest by the Bulldogs since MSU made just one at Kentucky three years ago.

Alabama has been susceptible to "run" by opponents in second halves of games this year. On Saturday the Tide survived the 14-0 spurt by Mississippi State in the second half. That was the biggest run by an opponent this year.

Against Mississippi State, Crimson Tide guard Mikhail Torrance's 20 points was his fifth 20-point performance of the season.

Alabama players contributed 16 assists for the Tide's 22 field goals (72.7 per cent) were assisted, its highest assisted basket percentage of the season.

Tony Mitchell led all players in rebounding with a career-high 12 boards. Senario Hillman posted a career-high nine rebounds.

Alabama held a four-rebound advantage, 49-45, against the SEC's top rebounding team.

BamaMag Top Stories