Braxton Key scored 16 points as Alabama won its fourth straight Southeastern Conference game, defeating Mississippi State 68-62 on Saturday night at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Crimson Tide (13-6, 5-2), which had beaten South Carolina, LSU and No. 17 Auburn in their previous three games, led by as many as 20 points in the first half, but saw the Bulldogs pull even several times in the second half before prevailing.
Daniel Giddens added 13 points for Alabama, which visits Ole Miss on Tuesday. Collin Sexton, the Crimson Tide’s leading scorer, missed his second consecutive game because of an abdominal injury.
Lamar Peters scored 17 points to lead Mississippi State (14-5, 2-4), which lost its 11th straight road game, including four losses this season. Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 12 points, Aric Holman had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Abdul Ado scored 11. The Bulldogs visit No. 18 Kentucky on Tuesday
Alabama led by 19 at halftime, but Ado made two free throws and Holman hit a 3-pointer as Mississippi State scored the first five points of the second half.
The Tide rebuilt the lead to 17 before Peters heated up. He made three 3-pointers and a layup to help the Bulldogs trim the lead to 50-47 midway through the second half.
Herbert Jones’ jumper stopped the run, but Mississippi State pulled even at 54 on four consecutive points by Weatherspoon.
Key’s 3-pointer put Alabama back on top but Weatherspoon’s tip-in and Holman’s basket helped the Bulldogs tie the score at 58 with 3:08 left.
Dazon Ingram made two free throws to give the Tide the lead again, but Weatherspoon made two free throws to force another tie.
Key’s layup and John Petty’s jumper gave Alabama a 64-60 lead, but Holman’s dunk got Mississippi State within two with 22 seconds left.
Ingram made two free throws for a four-point lead and the Bulldogs didn’t score again.
Alabama started fast, jumping to a 16-6 lead and maintaining a 25-12 edge.
Key made a 3-pointer and another basket as the Tide finished with a 16-10 advantage the rest of the way to take a 41-22 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media