Guards John Petty Jr. and Kira Lewis Jr. combined for 35 points as Alabama got its first Southeastern Conference victory with a 90-69 win over visiting Mississippi State on Wednesday night in Tuscaloosa.
Petty scored 18 points, and Lewis added 17 as the Crimson Tide (8-6, 1-1 SEC) posted their sixth win in their last eight outings.
Guard Nick Weatherspoon scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs (9-5, 0-2), who struggled when center Reggie Perry got into early foul trouble. He fouled out with just under seven minutes left with 14 points but only five rebounds, half of his usual output on the boards.
The Bulldogs came in leading the SEC in rebounding margin at 7.5 per game, but the Tide won the boards 42-38.
Alabama quickly extended an eight-point halftime lead into double digits at 44-34 just 47 seconds into the second period, then increased that to 15 points, 51-36, on Petty’s 3-pointer at the 17:14 mark.
The Tide’s lead remained varied from 11 to 14 points over the next three minutes until a 3-pointer by guard Robert Woodard II and Weatherspoon’s free throw after his fastbreak layup got State’s gap into single digits at 58-52 with 13:06 remaining.
But the Tide quickly regained control, using a 10-0 run to lead 70-53 with 8:11 left, capped by back-to-back corner 3-pointers by Lewis and Petty.
Mississippi State was never closer than 11 points the rest of the way. Bama’s biggest lead was 23 points at 90-67.
Both teams were hot and cold in the first half.
The Bulldogs missed eight consecutive field-goal attempts to fall behind 13-5, then hit eight of their next 12 attempts for a 24-23 lead at the 6:11 mark. As they were heating up, the Tide was going through an 0-of-8 drought of their own before finishing the half hitting eight of their last 11 shots for a 42-34 cushion at the break.
—Field Level Media