FINAL: Alabama 67, MSU 50

Recapping Mississippi State’s 67-50 loss to Alabama at Coleman Coliseum on Saturday.

The buzz: MSU’s hopes of making the NCAA tournament took another blow, as Alabama just trampled the Bulldogs after halftime. The Tide (19-9, 8-6 SEC) shot lights out the second half (64 percent overall, 5 of 7 from 3-point range), while the Bulldogs (19-10, 6-8) had another one of their big scoring droughts. This is the fifth consecutive loss for State, and it’s 1-6 in SEC road games.

Turning point: MSU led 25-22 after going on a 9-2 run late in the first half, but then Dee Bost was called for a foul on Trevor Releford‘s 3-point shot with 0.4 seconds left. Releford hit all three free throws, and that sparked what became an 18-5 run. MSU cut it to five points, but a 14-1 Bama run put the game out of reach. State went nearly seven-and-a-half minutes without a field goal.

MVP: Bost finished with 14 points and four assists but had three turnovers.

MSU leaders: Bost 14 points (5-10 FGs, 3-6 3FGs, 1-5 FTs), 4 assists, 3 turnovers, 3 steals; Renardo Sidney 14 points (6-12 FGs, 2-3 FTs), 3 rebounds; Jalen Steele 9 points (3-9 FGs, 3-8 3FGs), 4 assists, 3 turnovers; Arnett Moultrie 7 points (1-3 FGs, 5-6 FTs), 8 rebounds.

Alabama leaders: Levi Randolph 18 points (6-9 FGs, 2-2 3FGs, 4-4 FTs), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals; Releford 10 points (3-9 FGs, 1-4 3FGs, 3-3 FTs), 4 assists; Andrew Steele 9 points (3-5 FGs, 3-3 FTs); JaMychal Green 9 points (4-7 FGs, 1-2 FTs), 3 rebounds.

Key stats: Moultrie had just three field goal attempts in 40 minutes of work. … Alabama’s bench outscored State’s 32-4. … Alabama out-rebounded MSU, 29-27. … Alabama committed just three second-half turnovers. … Bama outscored State in the paint, 32-16. … Bama shot 53.2 percent overall, 6 of 11 from 3-point range. … MSU shot 38.3 percent overall, 6 of 16 from 3-point range.

Highlight reel: This honor goes to Green, who made a spinning layup on a fast break to give Alabama a 20-16 lead. He returned from a four-game suspension today, coming off the bench.

Quotable: “I see our season slipping away right in front of our eyes. All we need is one win, and I believe we’ll be able to get on a winning streak.” – Moultrie

Video: Here’s more from Moultrie (CLICK HERE).

Bottom line: Moultrie kind of said it all, except I’m not sure one win can salvage this season. A theme has emerged: Whenever MSU hits adversity during a game, it can’t seem to recover. That was the case tonight, as coach Rick Stansbury said he thought Releford’s big play at the end of the half carried over with the Bulldogs into the second half.

Up next: State is on the road again to take on South Carolina on Wednesday (7 p.m., SEC Network).

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