TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It wasn’t fairly however Alabama held on to select up its eighth convention win of the season because of a 66-63 win on Wednesday.
Here are three takeaways from Alabama’s ninth-consecutive victory.
Alabama’s frigid first half
While temperatures hovered simply above freezing exterior of Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday, it was even colder contained in the constructing.
Alabama shot a cold 33% within the first half en path to scoring simply 29 factors in the course of the first 20 minutes of play. It was the second time the Crimson Tide was held beneath 30 factors this season and the primary time for the reason that workforce defeated then-No. 1 Houston on Dec. 10. together with its ice-cold capturing from the sphere, the Crimson Tide transformed on simply three of its 16 3-point makes an attempt within the first half. Brandon Miller led the workforce in scoring with simply six factors as Alabama did not have a scorer surpass double digits till Miller did so with 11:35 left within the second half.
The workforce’s uncharacteristically chilly evening did not simply keep on the offensive finish of the ground, Alabama struggled to cease Mississippi State because it shot 56.7% from the ground within the first half. The Bulldogs had been led by Tolu Smith’s 10 factors capturing an environment friendly 5-of-7 from the ground.
Mississippi State dominates within the paint
Part of what made Mississippi State so tough to decelerate on Wednesday was its proficiency to attain within the paint. For solely the third time this season, Alabama misplaced the factors within the paint battle because the Bulldogs outscored the Crimson Tide 40-26. Against Gonzaga and UConn, Alabama was outscored within the paint which resulted in each of its losses this season.
The Bulldogs opted to make use of that very same technique to pound Alabama on the within as they persistently fed Smith and D.J. Jefferies all through the sport. The duo mixed for twenty-four factors, all of which got here from inside 15 toes of the basket. However, within the second half, Alabama made changes that stymied the Bulldogs’ offense. After scoring at a 56% clip from the ground, Mississippi State sported a 34.6% capturing share within the second half whereas holding Smith to simply 5 factors throughout that point.
Alabama’s game-winning scoring run
Despite struggling via the sport, Alabama confirmed indicators of a championship workforce. During the ultimate seven minutes of the sport, the Crimson Tide went on a 17-11 scoring run which not gave Alabama its first lead of the sport — it was the one lead it wanted to safe its 18th win of the season.
Jahvon Quinerly pioneered the game-winning run, tallying a team-high seven factors, 5 of which got here from the free-throw line. Quinerly wound up being Alabama’s most constant offensive menace as he tallied a team-high 14 factors and 4 assists within the win. Along with Quinerly, Alabama gained main contributions from Miller, Mark Sears, Noah Clowney and Rylan Griffen.