Alabama Basketball blitzes Mississippi State in Coleman Coliseum

Mississippi State v Alabama
Mississippi State v Alabama / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

Alabama Basketball put together one of its most complete performances of the season on Saturday, dominating Mississippi State from start to finish and earning a 99-67 win. The victory was the fourth straight for a Crimson Tide team that has also won 11 of its last 12. 

Bama remains at the top of the SEC standings with an 8-1 league record and owns victories over Auburn and South Carolina, both of whom are a game behind at 7-2. Tennessee, who is Alabama’s only SEC loss, sits a game and a half back at 6-2.

Alabama Basketball has shown the ability to avoid a letdown game after its biggest win of the season over a top-10 Auburn team. The Tide followed that win with a blowout victory over LSU, and then showed its grit with a come-from-behind road win over Georgia. 

Carrying that momentum into the Saturday night showdown with Mississippi State, Bama didn’t miss a beat. Nate Oats’ squad controlled it from the opening tap, taking a commanding 47-24 lead into halftime. The Tide never let off the gas either, scoring 52 more points in the second half and completing the season sweep of the Bulldogs.

Alabama was led by Mark Sears’ 21 points, just another convincing data point in Sears’ campaign for SEC Player of the Year. Aaron Estrada added 15 points and eight boards, and the Tide also got a massive boost from a pair of freshman forwards off the bench.

Jarin Stevenson enjoyed a hot start, hitting his first five shots and tying his season-high with 14 points. Classmate Mohamed Dioubate was a presence in the paint, adding 14 points, nine rebounds, and a pair of blocks in his own right. The emergence of these two youngsters has effectively refurbished an Alabama frontcourt that lacked an identity earlier this season.

Alabama’s depth was on full display in this game. The Tide was able to put together a dominant performance despite a 6-21 combined shooting performance from Grant Nelson, Rylan Griffen, and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. 

Three of Alabama’s top five scorers, this trio typically accounts for over 30 points per game, but had just 16 against Mississippi State. Other contributions, as well as a textbook display of Coach Oats’ preferred style of play, more than compensated for that lost production. 

Bama got up and down the floor with relentless pace and notched 20 offensive rebounds, ultimately getting up 83 shots to the Bulldogs’ 55. This level of discrepancy is characteristic of a championship caliber team; Bama didn’t even shoot particularly well in this game, and could have afforded to do much worse. With a difference of nearly 30 shot attempts, the Tide could have withstood a historically bad shooting night and still won this game. 

This Alabama Basketball team took its lumps early in the non-conference portion of the schedule, but now it is rounding into form. The Tide is in prime position to compete for its third SEC regular season title in four years, and it is still getting better.