The Alabama men’s basketball team had a night to forget at Mississippi State on Tuesday night, taking a lopsided loss to the team it edged just two weeks ago, 81-62.
The Crimson Tide spent 12 seconds tied with the Bulldogs, but trailed the rest of the game. Mississippi State pulled out ahead early, and pulled away before halftime for a 43-30 lead. Alabama did well keeping within distance, but could never quite overcome the deficit.
Two key factors in the loss were rebounding and turnovers. Mississippi State out-rebounded Alabama 35-26, with the Bulldogs turning the turnovers them into a whopping 28 points.
“This was not one of our better nights,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said in a release. “We turned the ball over 18 times on the road and allow 28 points of turnovers and then get out-rebounded, then you’re going to have a tough time winning.”
Mississippi State sophomores Lamar Peters and Quinndary Weatherspoon both had top-notch performances, finishing with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Freshman Reggie Perry also had a good night, registering a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“This is a team that’s been ranked in the top-25 for most of the season and you see the reason why,” Johnson said. “They shot the ball well and Peters was hard to contain early in the game and Weatherspoon has been a terrific second half player over the last couple of games and he did it again tonight.”
Freshman Kira Lewis led the Crimson Tide with 17 points. Four players for Alabama scored in double-digits, including senior Tevin Mack with 13 points, junior Dazon Ingram with 12, and senior Donta Hall with 11.
Hall led the team in rebounds with seven.
The Alabama bench, which came in averaging just over 27 points per game, scored a season-low five points.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Crimson Tide, which is 15-9 overall, 6-5 in SEC play. Mississippi State (17-7, 5-6) pulled to within a game in the league standings.
Alabama’s next matchup will be against Florida on Saturday in Coleman Coliseum. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip (ESPNU).