(Photo Courtesy: MSU Athletics)
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State erased a 20-point deficit but could not pull off its first road win in SEC play Saturday night.
Alabama made enough plays in the final minute to hold on to a 68-62 victory in Coleman Coliseum.
MSU fell to 14-5 overall and 2-4 in league play. The road gets no easier with a trip to Kentucky on the horizon next before the squad returns home to face Missouri Saturday night in the Humphrey Coliseum.
Lamar Peters hit three second-half 3-point baskets to fuel the comeback, while finishing with a game-high 17 points. Quinndary Weatherspoon added 12 points, while Abdul Ado and Aric Holman each added 11 points. Holman collected a double-double with 10 rebounds. Weatherspoon just missed as he finished with nine rebounds.
Alabama was dominant in the first 20 minutes of play. The Crimson Tide shot 51.6 percent from the field and was never threatened. Bama sprinted to a 16-3 lead and kept a double-figure lead throughout the half.
Alabama led 41-22 at halftime.
Holman hit a 3-pointer as the Bulldogs were back within 13 less than two minutes into the second half. Back-to-back treys by Peters brought the Bulldogs back within seven at 50-43 with 11:56 left.
Peters and Ado followed with back-to-back baskets to cap a 15-1 run, making the score 50-47.
The teams were then tied at 54, 58 and 60 but the Bulldogs could never grab a lead.
A dunk by Holman cut the deficit to 64-62 with 22 seconds left. The Bulldogs could not score again.
For the contest, MSU hit 21 of 56 shots from the field (37.5 percent), 7 of 23 shots from 3-point range (30.4 percent) and 13 of 16 shots from the foul line (81.3 percent). Alabama hit 25 of 60 shots from the field (41.7 percent), 5 of 16 shots from 3-point range (31.3 percent) and 13 of 23 shots from the foul line (56.5 percent).
Alabama held a 40-38 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had five assists and 16 turnovers, while the Crimson Tide had 16 assists and 11 turnovers.
Alabama (13-6, 5-2) received 16 points from Braxton Key and 13 points from Daniel Giddens. Dazon Ingram had a team-high eight rebounds for the Crimson Tide.
MSU remains on the road for a Tuesday night contest at Kentucky. The Bulldogs and Wildcats meet at 8 p.m. CT as part of the ESPN Super Tuesday package from Rupp Arena.