Our Clients:

Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Feb 2, 2024 10:40 am

High-scoring No. 24 Alabama looks to upend Mississippi State again

Alabama forward Grant Nelson hit two big 3-pointers down the stretch Wednesday night to help the 24th-ranked Crimson Tide rally for an 85-76 Southeastern Conference win at Georgia.

And in the eyes of coach Nate Oats, whose team hosts Mississippi State on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, the best is yet to come for the North Dakota State transfer.

“He’s showed he’s got some toughness to him,” Oats said. “He’s struggled to shoot the ball. We trust him to make shots and those two he hit late in the game were big. I mean, they sealed the game for us. So he showed he’s a winner. He showed the moment doesn’t get too big for him.”

The 6-11 Nelson, who averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds last season for the Bison, is down to 12.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game with Alabama. Nelson is sinking 46.4 percent of his shots from the field, as opposed to 52.1 last season, but is making 87.2 percent at the line, 15 percentage points above last season.

If Nelson enjoys more 20-point games like the one he had at Georgia, a Crimson Tide offense that leads the nation in scoring at 89.4 points per game could become even more potent.

Alabama (15-6, 7-1) trailed Georgia 17-2 eight minutes into the game and 41-27 at halftime but poured in 58 second-half points, marking the 13th time this season the Crimson Tide scored at least 50 in a half. Oats said it was the type of game a team with designs on a conference championship has to win.

“We fixed a lot of what was wrong in the first half,” he said. “I knew we could win this game by getting stops and rebounding the ball better. We did enough on offense and played hard enough.”

Mark Sears leads the Tide, which enters the weekend with a one-game lead in the SEC, at 20.1 points per game.

Meanwhile, Mississippi State (14-7, 3-5) could use a road win to help boost its resume for an NCAA at-large bid. The Bulldogs hurt themselves Tuesday night in an 86-82 loss at in-state rival Ole Miss, allowing a dozen 3-pointers and coughing up 15 turnovers.

That was enough to cancel out 53.6 percent field goal shooting and some good individual efforts, including 21 points from guard Josh Hubbard. Cameron Matthews added 16 points and 12 rebounds but leading scorer Tolu Smith (16.2 points per game) was held to five shots and nine points in 25 foul-plagued minutes.

Coach Chris Jans liked a lot about his team’s effort but has been concerned with the Bulldogs’ turnover rate lately.

“We average around 18, I think, which is not a great number,” he said. “It’s a little above the norm in college basketball and it’s become our Achilles’ heel. When we have issues, it usually comes back to that.”

Hubbard has enjoyed a good freshman season, averaging 15.2 points while playing most of his minutes off the bench. He was the sixth man in an 82-74 home loss last month against Alabama, managing 14 points in 21 minutes.

Sears paced the Tide’s attack that night with 22 points on just 12 shot attempts.

–Field Level Media

You may also like

Clippers, Lakers
Feb 29, 2024 12:54 am

LeBron James, Lakers stun Clippers with late rally

LeBron James scored 19 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and Anthony Davis finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds as the visiting Los Angeles Lakers overcame a…

Arizona wildcats, Arizona State sun devils
Feb 29, 2024 12:32 am

No. 6 Arizona holds off Arizona State

Oumar Ballo recorded his eighth consecutive double-double and Caleb Love scored eight late points as No. 6 Arizona turned back an Arizona State rally and won 85-67 on the road…

Mark Sears
Feb 28, 2024 11:52 pm

No. 14 Alabama climbs out of first-half hole to down Ole Miss

Mark Sears scored 26 points, Aaron Estrada had a triple-double and No. 14 Alabama overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to defeat Ole Miss 103-88 on Wednesday night in Oxford, Miss….

More Basketball News

Clippers, Lakers
Feb 29, 2024 12:54 am

LeBron James, Lakers stun Clippers with late rally

LeBron James scored 19 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and Anthony Davis finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds as the visiting Los Angeles Lakers overcame a…

Arizona wildcats, Arizona State sun devils
Feb 29, 2024 12:32 am

No. 6 Arizona holds off Arizona State

Mark Sears
Feb 28, 2024 11:52 pm

No. 14 Alabama climbs out of first-half hole to down Ole Miss

Virginia Cavaliers
Feb 28, 2024 11:40 pm

Virginia ends 2-game skid with win over Boston College

Nuggets, Kings
Feb 28, 2024 11:37 pm

Nikola Jokic’s triple-double powers Nuggets past Kings

Read all
fb-post
advertisment
title-icon

Upcoming events

See all odds