Men's Basketball Falls in the Final Minute at Mississippi State, 56-52

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Andrew Steele had two steals, two assists and seven points on Saturday afternoon.
Andrew Steele had two steals, two assists and seven points on Saturday afternoon.

Jan. 14, 2012

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The University of Alabama men's basketball team rallied back from an early deficit against Mississippi State but couldn't overcome a pair of late three-pointers from Dee Bost as the Crimson Tide fell, 56-52, Saturday afternoon.

Senior JaMychal Green led UA with 14 points in the loss while MSU was paced by Arnett Moultrie's 25 points and 13 rebounds to improve the Bulldogs to 15-3 overall and 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama falls to 13-4 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.

"Give Mississippi State credit. They did a good job at the end making the plays they needed to make to come out with the win," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "Dee Bost has done it his whole career and he stepped up and made big shots there. We had opportunities and I'm proud of the way our guys fought. This is an opportunity for us to learn from this and understand life in the SEC."

UA had fought back from a deficit as large as 10 points in the second half to lead by as many as three points, 48-45, with less than three minutes to play. However, back-to-back three-pointers from Bost tied the game and then put MSU up on top, 51-48, with 1:35 left. A two Green free throws pulled UA back within one with a minute left.

Misses from each team on the next possession brought the game clock to 11 seconds when MSU's Brian Bryant slipped past the UA defense for layup to extend the lead to 53-50. Alabama played for a quick two-point shot on its next possession with Trevor Lacey converting. With Alabama needing a defensive stop win or extend the game, Bryant drove the lane and was fouled as his shot fell. He converted on the free throw with a second left to give MSU the 56-52 decision.

The Tide committed just one turnover in the second half and figured out how to score against MSU's big men as the Tide held a 24-14 advantage in the paint in the second half.

Moultrie scored 14 points  in the first half with eight rebounds, five of them on possession extending offensive rebounds to help MSU take a 27-21 lead into halftime. The Bulldogs opened the game with a quick 14-6 lead courtesy of an 8-0 run that promptly answered by nine straight UA points, including five from Andrew Steele.

The Tide returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 19, when it hosts Vanderbilt at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.