On Wednesday, another difficult opponent was put in front of Alabama, and once again they responded, as the Crimson Tide picked up their fourth win over a top 25 team, defeating Mississippi State 78-67 on the road in their first SEC game of the season. 

It was a tight ballgame throughout the first half, with Alabama taking a small 34-30 lead into halftime. Early in the second half, the Crimson Tide went on a 7-0 run, extending the lead to double digits, and never looked back.

Alabama had four players score double figures, led by Mark Sears who scored a game-high 20 points, hitting four of his eight three-point attempts. Despite some early foul trouble, Brandon Miller scored 19 points along with his 11 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season. Miller led the team in three-pointers hitting five of his 10 attempts from behind the arc.

Freshman Noah Clowney finished with 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds to help Alabama win the rebounding battle against Mississippi State, 41-38, while also outscoring the Bulldogs in the paint, 26-18.

The Alabama defense put on an excellent performance, holding Mississippi State to just 36% shooting on the night. The Bulldogs had a tough night shooting even when Alabama wasn’t guarding them, hitting just 18 of their 36 free throw attempts.

Once again, Alabama struggled to protect the basketball, something that has been a thorn in their side all year long, turning the ball over 19 times Wednesday, leading to 17 points for Mississippi State, but was once again able to overcome their mistakes. 

“They are a tough team and make it difficult on you,” Nate Oats said. “They turn people over and we had 19 turnovers and obviously that is not good, but I thought we were able to overcome them by how hard we played. We outrebounded them and they really hang their hat on how hard they play and how well they rebound and for us to outrebound them and I thought our defense was better than theirs.” 

Alabama will return home Tuesday, January 3, to face the Ole Miss Rebels in their first home game of the SEC schedule.

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