In another less-than-potent offensive outing for the Crimson Tide, it was Alabama’s defense that propelled the Tide to a 64-56 win over Mississippi State. Alabama moved to 18-8 on the season, 10-3 in SEC play, while Mississippi State lost its 11th conference game in-a-row to fall to 2-11 in conference play, 7-18 overall.
Alabama picked the Bulldogs’ pocket 18 times, setting a new season-high over 13 steals against West Alabama on Nov. 11. Leading the way for the Tide in steals were redshirt freshman guard Retin Obasohan and junior guard Trevor Releford, who both had five. Sophomore forward Rodney Cooper added three.
Alabama also outperformed its norm at the free throw line, ending the game with a 77.8 shooting percentage with 21 conversions on 27 free throw attempts. Cooper was 4-4 from the line, leading the team alongside Obasohan with the same mark. Junior guard Trevor Releford also had a good night from the free throw line, 7-9, as did freshman forward Devonta Pollard, who went 3-4.
Cooper led the Tide in scoring with 20 points and adding 10 rebounds, making for both a career-high in rebounds and his first career double-double. Releford added 17 points on 5-10 shooting and five assists.
Mississippi State was lead by forward Colin Borchert, who contributed 14 points and nine rebounds. Jalen Steele added 15 points off-the-bench and four rebounds.
Alabama will take to the road to play LSU on Saturday.