TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) John Petty Jr. scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and Alabama beat Mississippi State 90-69 in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night. The Crimson Tide scored 90 or more points for the fifth straight game, and the Mississippi State offense couldn’t keep up with the Tide's hot 3-point shooting (10 of 24).
“We have to execute better offensively. I thought their defense definitely causes problems,” said Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland. “That’s two games in a row now where we haven’t shot above 40% after really having a good field goal percentage and efficiency rating coming into conference.”
Alabama (8-6, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) struggled from deep early on, making only three of its first 10 attempts. Petty caught fire in the second half making three of the teams five second-half 3-pointers.
Reggie Perry got off to a dominant start for the Bulldogs (9-5, 0-2), scoring seven of their first eight points. However, Perry was plagued by fouls and fouled out with 6:56 to go in the second half, finishing with 14 points.
With six lead changes, it was a game of runs in the first half. After Mississippi State took a 28-27 lead, Alabama ended the half on a 15-6 run to go up 42-34 at halftime.
The trend continued in the second half as the Crimson Tide opened with a 6-0 burst.
“I thought we went into the halftime on a run, came out of the halftime on a run, (and) kind of closed down any runs they made,” said Alabama head coach Nate Oats.
Falling behind by as many as 15, the Bulldogs cut the Alabama lead to six with 13 minutes to play, but were never able to retake the lead.
Nick Weatherspoon led the way offensively for the Bulldogs finishing with 20 points and four rebounds before also fouling out. Robert Woodard II added 14 points for Mississippi State.
For Alabama, Mississippi native Galin Smith tied a career-high with 11 points. Kira Lewis Jr. added 17 points and eight rebounds.
“It’s a big game for us coming off the Florida loss,” Smith said. “We put a lot of emphasis on rebounding and ending the game like we should have at Florida.”
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs struggled to keep up with the Alabama 3-point shooting, shooting 27% from deep and only making 4-for-15.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide used balanced scoring to reach 90 points. Five different players finished with double digits.
Mississippi State will try to pick up their first SEC win of the season on the road against LSU on Saturday.
Alabama looks to continue momentum and travels to Kentucky on Saturday.
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