The Crimson Tide has not won at Mississippi State
The loss dropped Alabama to 15-9 overall. Although many so-called
experts are predicting Alabama will make the NCAA Tournament field, the
Crimson Tide is flirting with a losing Southeastern Conference record.
Now at 5-8 with three games remaining, Bama can do no better than .500
in league play.
Alabama returns to Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa for a 1 p.m.
CST Sunday game against Mississippi. The game will be telecast by
CBS. Alabama also has a home game March 5 against South Carolina
before finishing regular season play at LSU on March 8.
Alabama had the early lead, but a familiar long period of poor
shooting - nine minutes without a field goal - cost the Crimson Tide the
advantage. Still, good Bama defense - Mississippi State had a six-minute
run with no field goals - kept the Tide in the game, trailing by only 24-22 at
halftime. Although Erwin Dudley came to life in the second stanza, the rest
of the Alabama offense was dormant until about the eight-minute mark
and the Tide also lost its defensive effectiveness as State began to
stretch its lead. Dudley scored Bama’s first 13 points of the second half.
Alabama trailed by only 37-33 when State went on a 14-2 run and took
a 16-point lead. The Bulldogs would get it out to a 17-point margin at
54-37. But then it was Alabama’s turn for a run, a 14-point run.
Then baskets began to fall for Bama. A handful of Tide three-pointers
cut the margin until Alabama pulled to within three points at 54-51 with
just under two minutes to play and also had it at 56-53 with 35 seconds to
play. However, Alabama had a couple of critical misses in the final minute
and the Bulldogs sealed the victory with free throws.
Dudley, who had only two points at halftime, finished with a
game-high 17. Dudley also had seven rebounds and won his personal
battle with State’s Mario Austin, who had 14 points and five rebounds.
Kennedy Winston had 11 points and Mo Williams 10 for Bama.
Alabama reverted to its normal poor shooting, 41 per cent for the
game. Mississippi State shot only 44 per cent, but hit 58 per cent in the
second half. Alabama was good on 33 per cent of its three-point shots, six
of 18. Alabama was good on 80 per cent of its free throws, while State
gave Bama hope by hitting only seven of 13, a dismal 54 per cent.
Alabama had a slight edge in rebounding, 33-30.
Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried was able to see a positive in the
loss. “I’m proud of our guys,” he said. “Our guys poured their hearts into
the game.” He also said he had told his team he thinks it will be in the
Alabama defeated Mississippi State, 68-62, in an overtime game in
Tuscaloosa earlier this