Hoops: MSU 83, Alabama 74

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So Mississippi State is in sole possession of first place in the SEC Western Division, 12-5 overall and 2-0 in league play. Phil Turner had a season-high 17 points, hitting 3 of 4 from downtown. What got into him? “Just the team’s energy. Talking to coach (Rick Stansbury) in pregame shooting, he was just telling me to take the shots if the big guy doesn’t want to get on you.”

MSU trailed 36-33 at halftime but opened the second half with a 13-5 run. The lead reached 10 points twice and eventually 13 before Alabama (11-5, 1-1) sliced it to four with 1 minute, 39 seconds to play. Two big turnovers and some MSU free throws iced it, though.

“I thought we played a little bit timidly. I thought our point guard the first half settled for threes; I thought the second half he became a point guard again,” Stansbury said of Dee Bost. “I thought he pushed it in transition the second half, I thought he got the ball to open people. I thought that was a difference, again, in the game, him pushing it.”

Bost had 10 of his 13 points and seven of his 10 assists after halftime.

MSU’s bench contributed 22 points and 13 rebounds. But it wasn’t just the guys getting into the game that made a difference. Before the postgame press conference wrapped up, shooting guard Barry Stewart said the guys at the end of the bench – the garbage-time guys (my term) – provided energy and enthusiasm. They’re called the “gold team,” a reference to their wearing gold jerseys during practices as the scout team. Jacquiese Holcombe, who will try to get a redshirt because of a foot injury, was the most demonstrative cheerleader, doing everything from the chicken dance during a timeout to helping lead the “Maroon! White!” cheer near game’s end.

“He gives us a lot of energy every game,” Stewart said.

Some stats:

• MSU hit 11 of 24 from 3-point range, the fourth straight game the Bulldogs have made at least 11 threes.

• MSU shot 50 percent from the field, including 66.7 percent in the second half.

• MSU had 18 assists and 13 turnovers; Alabama had eight assists, 13 turnovers.

• State has won five in a row against Bama and six of the last seven meetings. Alabama hasn’t won in Starkville since 2005.

• State is now 1-5 when trailing at the half this season.

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2 Responses to “Hoops: MSU 83, Alabama 74”

  1. thingreenline Says:

    Suck on that Bama!!

  2. imabulldog Says:

    Roll Tide! Right on back to T-Town…

    Love beating Bama, doesnt matter what sport, but I have to say-I think they’ll give us all we want @ their place.

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