MSU Falls To Alabama

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – Another hard-fought SEC battle went the visitor’s way Tuesday night.

A furious rally in the final minutes fell short as Mississippi State dropped a 55-51 decision to Alabama at Humphrey Coliseum.

With the win, Alabama improved to 15-9 overall and 5-6 in league play. MSU dropped its second straight to fall to 11-13 and 4-7.

Gavin Ware and Craig Sword paced the Bulldogs with 13 points apiece. However, MSU could not overcome 15 turnovers and a 2-of-12 night from 3-point range.

“We continue to have stat lines that are really amazing,” MSU coach Rick Ray said. “You hold a team to 32 percent shooting, out-rebound a team and get to the free throw line more but yet you lose the game. We are killing ourselves with our inability to take care of the basketball.

“We have to do a better job of knocking down our free throws. Our talking on the court and more importantly our listening on the court has to be better. This one hurts because we did some good things defensively. But we have to win games like this on our home court.”

The contest was close throughout with eight tied scores and six lead changes.

MSU built an early 12-9 lead on a 3-point play by Fred Thomas. Alabama pulled even but fell back down 17-14 after a 3-point play by Craig Sword.

Alabama scored the game’s next six points and led 25-21 at halftime.

MSU finally pulled even at 32-32 on a dunk by Sword and two free throws by Ware. Alabama took the lead for good on a jumper by Shannon Hale at 40-38 with 7:31 left.

Alabama stretched the lead to a game-best advantage at 49-41 with 3:18 left.

The Bulldogs made one last stand with effective full-court pressure. Sword had two steals and hit a layup on one possession and fed Fred Thomas for a layup on the other.

Alabama hit 3 of 6 free throws the rest of the way to protect its four-point lead.

For the contest, MSU hit 17 of 46 shots from the field (37.0 percent), 2 of 12 shots from 3-point range (16.7 percent) and 15 of 23 shots from the foul line (65.2 percent). Alabama hit 17 of 52 shots from the field (32.7 percent), 5 of 27 shots from 3-point range (18.5 percent) and 16 of 22 shots from the foul line (72.7 percent).

MSU held a 37-33 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had five assists and 15 turnovers, while the Crimson Tide had nine assists and 11 turnovers.

Ware had a game-high eight rebounds for the Bulldogs. Sword added three steals, three assists and a block, while Ware had a pair of blocks.

Alabama received 14 points from Hale and 13 points from Levi Randolph.

MSU returns to the road for a Saturday contest at Missouri. The Bulldogs and Tigers meet at 3 p.m. with a national telecast on ESPNU from Mizzou Arena.

Categories: College Sports, Local Sports, Top Sports Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *