In their most complete game of the year, the Alabama Crimson Tide blew the Mississippi State Bulldogs out by a score of 75-55 in Thursday action in the SEC Tournament in Nashville. The Tide improved to 18-13 while the Bulldogs fell to 16-16. ‘Bama defeated MSU all three times they tipped it off this season.
The Tide started fast and never trailed in the game, and actually ballooned the lead to 30 points with about seven minutes left. A late “flurry” by the Dogs cut the final margin to 20.
Alabama shot a sizzling (for them) 47%, (25-53) in the game and 8-16 (50% )from three point range, but stayed steady with their typical 65% free throw shooting. Dazon Ingram led the way with 17 points on a perfect shooting day, 7-7 from the field, 1-1 from deep and 2-2 from the free throw line. The redshirt freshman was joined in double figures by Corban Collins with 14 points and Donta Hall and Avery Johnson, Jr both with 10.
The Tide bench contributed 40 points overall. Fan favorite Lawson Schaffer had five off the bench in only three minutes on a long three pointer to beat the shot clock and two free throws.
Riley Norris scored eight points and led the team with seven rebounds. Braxton Key only scored three points, but added five rebounds and five assists. The Tide defense was outstanding as usual, holding MSU to 39% shooting and 16% from three point range. The Dogs did out-rebound the Tide by a 38-36 margin, which is unusual for ‘Bama. The most impressive stat of the game was the Tide dishing out 16 assists to only nine turnovers, a huge improvement for the team.
It sounds simplistic, but when this Tide team shoots like they did today they become a pretty darn good basketball team. They are always going to defend well, and almost always out-rebound their opponents, but their biggest bugaboo is consistently putting the ball in the basket. Collins going 4-6 from long range was a huge lift for the team. When Ingram, Key and Norris can knock their shots down also, the Tide becomes dangerous.
This game was with out a doubt the most complete game the Tide has played all season. The long scoring droughts were avoided as well as the turnovers that have so often plagued the team. The assist to turnover ratio was a thing of beauty, as the team moved the ball with purpose, and managed to take, and make shots at the end of the brilliant passing.
Next on the agenda is a 2 p.m. CT meeting with the South Carolina Gamecocks, the fourth seed in the league. The game will be on the SEC Network. The Tide defeated the ‘Cocks in a four overtime thriller in Columbia on February 7th by a score of 90-86. The game was tied at 52 at the end of regulation. Three more wins and ‘Bama will go dancing!
Buckle Up and Roll Tide
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