Starkville Daily News
Alabama handles Mississippi State 72-49
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mississippi State has experienced the thrill of victory and agony of defeat in two days at the Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.
After edging the Florida Gators 69-68 in overtime on Thursday, the Bulldogs were completely overmatched in the quarterfinals on Friday 72-49 against No. 1 seed Alabama.
Brandon Miller had 18 points and nine rebounds and the Crimson Tide never trailed.
“It was a tough day,” MSU head coach Chris Jans said following the game. “We're best when we get off to a really good start.
Obviously, we didn't. “They had great energy out of the locker room.they kind of punched us in the face. We were playing from behind, playing uphill all night long.”
Alabama set the pace in the first half hitting eight-of-20 shots from long range. Charles Bediako and Noah Gurley added 11 points apiece for the Tide, and Jahvon Quinerly scored 10.
The Bulldogs were scoreless in their first six possessions including a pair of turnovers and trailed 41-21 at halftime.they hit 8 of 31 field goal attempts and missing all five of their shots from 3-point range.
Tolu Smith led Mississippi State with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Dashawn Davis scored 13 points.
With 5:40 remaining, the Bulldogs trimmed the Crimson Tide's lead to 57-43 on a layup by D.J. Jeffries. The Bulldogs did not get any closer.
MSU only made one shot from 3-point territory and that came from the hands of D.J. Jeffries. Alabama made 13 shots from deep.
The Bulldogs did edge the Tide in rebounding 37-36.
MSU (21-12) will now wait until Selection Sunday to see if it has done enough during the regular season and the SEC Tournament to make the field for the NCAA Tournament. The field will be announced at 5 p.m. on CBS and locally on WCBI-TV.