GOOD NUMBERS: The Crimson Tide dominated the battle of the boards by an impressive 43-26 count. Alabama shot 50 percent from the field after the intermission. Alabama held MSU to 36.5-percent shooting from the field for the game.
NOT SO GOOD NUMBERS: Alabama hit three of its 13 attempts from behind the arc. The Crimson Tide had 17 turnovers.
COACH SPEAK: “We went into halftime with a 12-point lead, and I didn’t know if that was good or bad,” Johnson said. “Sometimes we can’t protect leads, but we showed some maturity tonight. I thought that our non-conference portion of the schedule was strong enough that we could survive some adversity through the course of a game, and we did that tonight. We finished the game strong, and I thought these two guys (Riley Norris and Dazon Ingram) played some outstanding defense on some perimeter players from Mississippi State. I’m really proud of our team and our coaching staff for getting our players ready to play.”
NEXT UP FOR THE TIDE: Johnson's team returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 7, when it hosts the Vanderbilt Commodores in a game that is set to broadcast on ESPNU at 6 p.m. CT.
Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications
Crimson Tide basketball team begins SEC play with road win against MSU Bulldogs (via Crimson Magazine)
By Stan J. Griffin: January 3, 2017
THE SCORE: Alabama 68, Mississippi State 58 as the Crimson Tide begins Southeastern Conference play in winning fashion with a big road win over the Bulldogs, the Tide's third win in its last four games and its fourth consecutive win in Starkville.
It was a cold start for Avery Johnson's Tide team as it hit only one of its first seven field goals as the Bulldogs led early 9-3. Sophomore Avery Johnson Jr., however, led the Tide on a 16-2 run after this which propelled Alabama to a 19-11 lead at the 9:49 mark.
That surge extended to 21-4 and a bucket by redshirt freshman Dazon Ingram put the Crimson Tide up 24-13 with 5:33 remaining in the first half. At halftime, UA was up 32-20 as Ben Howland's Bulldogs left the floor to a chorus of loud boos.
MSU opened the second half by scoring the first eight points to trim the UA lead to 32-28. With Alabama up 45-40 after a bucket by Corban Collins, the Bulldogs used a 7-2 spurt to tie the game at 42-42 with 11:18 left. The score was still deadlocked at 44-44 when Ingram and Johnson Jr. led a 7-0 Tide run that put Alabama up 51-44 at the 8:18 mark.
This was part of a 20-6 surge that saw Alabama extend its lead to 64-50 with just two minutes left.
The Bulldogs briefly cut the lead to six points late in the contest, but Alabama sealed the contest at the free throw line.
SITE: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Miss.
RECORDS: Alabama 8-5 (1-0 SEC), Mississippi State 9-4 (0-1 SEC)
KEY STARS FOR THE TIDE: Ingram and Johnson Jr. led the Tide offensively with 13 points each, while junior Riley Norris tallied 11. Ingram also led Alabama with nine rebounds. Freshman Braxton Key and senior Jimmie Taylor added nine points each, and Key and Bola Olaniyan contributed six rebounds each.