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Mississippi State men’s basketball falls short as No. 6 Alabama wins 64-59

Bulldogs fall to 13-12.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State’s late-game run came up short against No. 6 Alabama as the Crimson Tide came away with a 64-59 win Saturday night at Humphrey Coliseum.

MSU falls to 13-12 (7-9 SEC), while Alabama improved to 19-6 (14-2 SEC) and clinched its first Southeastern Conference regular-season championship since 2002.

The Bulldogs were led by redshirt sophomore guard D.J. Stewart Jr. with 15 points and four assists, while redshirt sophomore forward Tolu Smith and sophomore guard Iverson Molinar chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Senior forwards Abdul Ado and Jalen Johnson, who were honored as part of senior night, finished with nine and seven points. Ado also recorded nine rebounds and four blocks.

MSU shot 24-for-59 (40.7%) from the floor, including just 1-for-12 (8.3%) on 3-pointers. The Bulldogs made 10 of 17 free throws.

The Bulldogs held Alabama to 21-for-65 (32.3%) shooting, including 7-for-28 (25.0%) on 3-pointers.

Sophomore guard Jahvon Quinerly led the Crimson Tide with 19 points, including 15 in the first half. Sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford added 15 points and six rebounds. Senior forward Herbert Jones brought down 14 rebounds and help lead Alabama to a 45-40 rebounding edge.

MSU held an early 8-5 lead before Alabama used a 15-1 run to go up 20-9 with 7:11 left in the first half.

The teams went into the halftime break with Alabama holding a 34-21 lead.

The Crimson Tide held a comfortable lead for much of the second half until the Bulldogs managed to come within three points when a layup by Molinar made it 56-53 with 4:17 to play.

The Bulldogs had multiple chances over the next three minutes to get closer, but Alabama was able to come up with some big defensive stops. The Crimson Tide increased the lead to 59-53 with 43 seconds left.

The squads traded trips to the free-throw line the rest of the way as Alabama held on for the 64-59 win.

The Bulldogs return to action Wednesday for an away game against Texas A&M. Tip time is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and will air on SEC Network.