Tide Shoots Lights Out In 75-43 Rout

Levi Randolph

Mississippi State got the lights turned out on them twice Wednesday night in Starkville. There was a power outage that kept Alabama from its normal pre-game shooting practice as the Crimson Tide had to work with emergency and television lights. But that was nothing compared to what happened to the Bulldogs in the last 20 minutes of the game.



Alabama shot lights out, connecting on its first five three-point shots of the second half – three by Trevor Lacey in just over a minute – and the Crimson Tide rolled to a 75-43 win over Mississippi State.

Alabama improved to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in Southeastern Conference play. Mississippi State fell to 7-8 and is also 2-1 in league games.

Alabama was playing without three-year starting point guard and leading scorer Trevor Releford, who sat out after having suffered an ankle injury Monday.

The Crimson Tide returns to action in Coleman Coliseum hosting Texas A&M at 5 p.m. CST Saturday.

Alabama had an eight-point lead, 30-22, with a flurry just before halftime, and then hit 11 of its first 12 shots to start the second half. Bama hit five three-point shots before the Bulldogs scored in the second half to open up a 45-22 lead.

Sophomore guard Levi Randolph led the Tide with 18 points, which tied his career-best, followed closely by sophomore guard Rodney Cooper's 17 points. Sophomore forward Nick Jacobs added a career-best 16 points while sophomore guard Trevor Lacey chipped in 11 points.

"This was a great win for us," UA Coach Anthony Grant said. "I thought we did a great job on the defensive end of the floor. Coming into the game, I thought Mississippi State had been outstanding defensively. We felt like we could have some success pressing and picking the tempo up a little bit and I thought our guys did a great job on being focused and sticking with our game plan."

The contest was close until late in the first half, when the Tide began a run that put the game away. Trailing 19-18 with 7:36 left in the opening stanza, Alabama went on the 12-3 spurt to take a 30-22 lead into intermission. UA then opened the second half with 15-straight points on five three-point baskets, three of which came from Lacey.

In all, the 27-3 run which spanned halftime lasted 11:25 and turned a 19-18 deficit into a 45-22 lead with 17:04 remaining in the game.

The Tide finished the contest shooting 53.4 percent (31-of-58) from the floor and a season-best 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from beyond the arc. UA also controlled the boards with a 35-23 edge on the boards, including 13 offensive rebounds that resulted in a 13-2 edge in second chance points.

Alabama was equally impressive on the defensive end of the floor, forcing 21 turnovers to own a big 25-11 advantage in points off turnovers. The Tide finished with a 12 steals and held the Bulldogs to 35.6 percent shooting from the field and 27.8 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

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