For the first time in a decade, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-6 overall, 6-5 SEC) have taken four SEC games in a row. The Bulldogs took down a talented, yet inconsistent, Alabama team (15-9 overall, 6-5 SEC) by a score of 67-63 tonight.
Points came at a premium for most of the game as both teams brought their defenses to play tonight. The Bulldogs shot an alright 46% from the field, but struggled mightily from 3 point range, hitting only 2 of their 19 attempts. However, MSU’s defense was a slight step ahead as it held the Tide to 37% shooting and 3 of 22 from behind the arc.
At the end of the first half, the score was 30-28 in the Bulldogs’ favor. That said, it wasn’t as if Mississippi State had the lead for much of that half. Star freshman Collin Sexton’s 10 points paced the Tide and created issues for the home team. Fellow freshman Nick Weatherspoon for Mississippi State matched Sexton’s total and led his team to the aforementioned first half lead.
Along with those two points in MSU’s favor, the Bulldogs out rebounded the Tide to the tune of 20 to 12 in the first half. But Alabama’s 18 trips to the free throw line kept them in the game. Bama was able to make 14 of their free throw attempts while Mississippi State made 7 of their 9 in the first half.
In the second half, the free throw disparity was turned upside down on its head. The Bulldogs made 10 of their 19 attempts while Alabama made 10 0f their 12 free throws.
Much like it was the case in the first half, the Weatherspoon brothers led the way for State in the second half. Both Quinndary and Nick scored 8 points and combined for 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal.
The Bulldogs got solid production from the entirety of their starting five, gaining 52 of their 67 points along with 24 of their 36 rebounds. Abdul Ado and Aric Holman grabbed a combined 12 rebounds, with MSU’s trio of starting guards grabbing 12 as well. From the bench, Xavian Stapleton scored 6 points and Starkville native Tyson Carter scored 7.
Ben Holwand’s squad is now tied for 4th in the SEC standings. Their next game is at Mizzou this Saturday.