Thu, 04 Mar 2021

Herbert Jones, banged up early, came back and finished with 17 points, a game-high seven assists, five rebounds and four steals, leading the No. 18 Alabama Crimson Tide to an 81-73 win over the visiting Mississippi State Bulldogs in an SEC game on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.

Joshua Primo added 16 points, including 12 in the first half, as Alabama (13-3, 8-0 SEC) won its ninth straight game. The Tide has also won their first eight conference games for the first time since 1987.

Alabama had three other double-figure scorers: Jaden Shackelford and John Petty (12 each) and Alex Reese (11).

Mississippi State (9-7, 4-4), which lost its second straight game and third in its last four, got a game-high 27 points from D.J. Stewart. It was Stewart's career high in points against an SEC team.

The Bulldogs also got 19 points from Iverson Molinar, who wasn't very efficient, making just 5-of-19 shots.

Alabama was without two of its top five rebounders in Jordan Bruner (5.3 per game, right knee) and James Rojas (4.0, undisclosed medical). In addition, leading rebounder Jones left the game in the first half after a hard fall.

However, Jones returned in the second half and finished the game shooting 5-of-8 from the floor, including 2-of-4 on 3-pointers.

After 13 lead changes and neither team leading by more than seven points, Alabama went into halftime with a 40-35 lead.

Mississippi State had the advantage in first-half shooting percentage (53.3 to 45.2), but Alabama had 12 assists to just five turnovers while also making 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) on 3-pointers. Mississippi State made just 1-of-4 from long range and had eight turnovers to go with only three assists.

Alabama controlled the second half, but the Tide couldn't put the Bulldogs away until the final minute. That's when Petty hit a huge 3-pointer with 32 seconds left, giving Alabama a 79-73 lead.

Stewart then missed a trey, and a Primo dunk ended the scoring.

For the game, Alabama hit 14-of-34 (41.2 percent) on 3-pointers. Mississippi State made just 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from long range, which was basically the difference.

--Field Level Media

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