No. 24 Alabama stayed on top of the SEC with a 99-67 win against Mississippi State on Saturday, completing the season sweep.
Alabama finally put together a full 40 minutes, dominating the Bulldogs on both ends of the court to secure their 14th-straight home win over an SEC opponent. The only thing that didn’t go the Crimson Tide’s way Saturday night was coming up one point short of hitting the century mark for the seventh time this season.
Here are a few takeaways from the game.
Defense Deserves Praise
Alabama’s defense puts together another good defensive performance Saturday night. The Crimson Tide provided pressure with their active hands, creating 18 Mississippi State turnovers. Those 18 turnovers led to 27 points for the Crimson Tide. Alabama’s defense has put together back-to-back defensive games, creating 37 turnovers over the past two games.
Grant Nelson Accumulates Hard Hat Points
Saturday night was not a great night for Grant Nelson in the points column, but he led the team in hard hat points. Nelson battled early foul trouble and finished the game with two points in just 24 minutes before fouling out. However, Nelson battled inside the paint with the Mississippi State big men, pulling down five rebounds and blocking one shot. Nelson’s biggest hard hat moment came in the second half when he dove on the floor to steal the ball and save it before going out of bounds despite the Crimson Tide being up 31 points.
Alabama Showcases Depth
The Crimson Tide had 10 players get their name in the scoring column on Saturday night. The Alabama bench accounted for 44 of their 99 points, which displayed the scoring depth that Nate Oats has off his bench. Mouhamed Dioubate and Jarin Stevenson led the bench in scoring with 14 points each. Alabama’s bench also recorded 23 rebounds.
Big Game For the Birthday Boy
Aaron Estrada spent his birthday putting on a performance for the Crimson Tide. Estrada recorded 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Before the game, Nate Oats showed Estrada that the analytics pointed towards him being more successful driving to the basket. Estrada took the advice and made a conscious effort to drive the lane, and it paid off with him scoring 12 of his 15 from the inside.
Next up for No. 24 Alabama is a road trip at Auburn on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT.
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