Game Preview: No. 24 Alabama vs Mississippi State
When: Saturday, January 15 at 6:00 pm ET on SEC Network
Location: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, MS
Having dropped their last two games, Alabama travels to Mississippi State in yet another tough SEC matchup.
The Crimson Tide are coming off their second consecutive loss as Alabama fell to No. 4 ranked Auburn at home on Tuesday night 81-77. A game which was tied with a minute to play, the Tigers used four late free throws to pull ahead, with Alabama also struggling at times offensively shooting only 34.8% from the field and 22.6% from three.
Ranked as the No. 24 team in the country, the Crimson Tide currently sit at 11-5 (2-2 in SEC), and come to Starkville having lost four of their last seven. Averaging 82.1 PPG, Alabama has received strong games from the likes of Jaden Shackelford, Jahvon Quinerly, and JD Davison in recent weeks, as well as having shown improvement defensively.
Mississippi State are coming off an impressive win on Wednesday night as the Bulldogs topped Georgia 88-72 at home. A back-and-forth contest for a majority, the Bulldogs were able to pull away late in the second half due to a combined 52.9% shooting from the field, as well as receiving 28 points from star guard Iverson Molinar.
The Bulldogs sit at 11-4 on the year (2-1 in SEC), and come into this game averaging 75.4 PPG, as well as only allowing 63.9 PPG. The previously mentioned Molinar leads Mississippi State in scoring (17.5 PPG), while four others also average in double-figures including Tolu Smith, Garrison Brooks, DJ Jeffries, and Shakeel Moore.
As we saw in last Saturday’s road loss at Missouri, no game in the SEC this season will be easy, especially on the road. This is a game that the Crimson Tide should win, but Mississippi State could provide some matchups that could give Alabama some troubles, most-notably with Molinar and Brooks.
Prediction: Alabama 78, Mississippi State 70