Alabama Basketball: Tide beat Mississippi State in a nail biter

South Carolina v Alabama
South Carolina v Alabama / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

The Alabama Basketball team traveled to Starkville to take on 12-3 Mississippi State looking to remain unbeaten in SEC play. Alabama Basketball entered the game with the conference's leading scorer Mark Sears who's averaging 20.2 points per game with 26 points per game in conference. Both teams entered the game coming off of big wins with Alabama Basketball making a statement in a win over South Carolina while Mississippi State upset fifth-ranked Tennessee. The Alabama Basketball team returned Mohamed Wague who missed last game dealing with an ankle injury.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle with Alabama Basketball taking a two-point lead into the second half. Mark Sears got into early foul trouble and the Tide needed one of its other guards to step up while Sears was sidelined. Latrell Wrightsell Jr made up the difference, coming off the bench scoring eleven first-half points, making three of six three-pointers.

The second half started with more of the same with the teams trading baskets back and forth. With twelve minutes left to go Mark Sears started to catch fire scoring eight points straight and helping the Tide stretch its lead to ten. Turnovers cost the Tide as 13 turnovers allowed Mississippi State to stay in the game while their offense was struggling.

The Bulldogs got back into the game with a four-minute scoreless streak from the Tide that shrunk the lead to three points. The teams would trade leads down the final five minutes of the game, with Alabama Basketball holding a one-point lead with a minute to go. Despite a massive stop by Mississippi State they missed two free throws with thirty seconds to play allowing the Crimson Tide to put the game away.

The difference in this game was fastbreak scoring, as Alabama Basketball scored 18 points while keeping Mississippi State scoreless. This game was one of the more balanced offensive games since Nate Oats took the Alabama Basketball job. Three players scored double-digit points with Mark Sears, Latrell Wrightsell, and Rylan Griffin all scoring double-digits while Grant Nelson and Aaron Estrada scored nine.

Alabama Basketball: Stacking road wins

If you want to win a conference as strong as the SEC you have to steal a few games on the road. The Alabama Basketball team joined the Auburn Tigers as the only two teams at 3-0 in the conference. Alabama will have a tough stretch coming up hosting Missouri before traveling to fifth-ranked Tennessee, followed by a home game against Auburn. The Alabama Basketball team will need to start limiting turnovers as they average a little over 13 per game.

Note: All stats via ESPN