Men's Basketball Downs No. 23 Mississippi State, 62-57

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Mikhail Torrance poured in a game-high 20 points.
Mikhail Torrance poured in a game-high 20 points.

Jan. 23, 2010

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Senior guard Mikhail Torrance posted a game-high 20 points and five assists to go along with four rebounds while sophomore forward JaMychal Green added 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Alabama men's basketball team in a 62-57 victory over No. 23 Mississippi State, Saturday at Coleman Coliseum.

The Tide knocked off the only western division SEC school that had yet to lose a conference game. With the win, Alabama improves its record to 12-7 (2-3 SEC) on the year while Mississippi State falls to 15-4 (3-1).

"I'm really proud of the way our guys came out today," head coach Anthony Grant said. "I thought the defensive intensity that we played with from the start all the way through made the difference tonight."

Torrance connected on 4-of-8 from the beyond the arc and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Green was just one rebound shy of his 12th career double-double while freshman Tony Mitchell pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds on the day.

Alabama jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the first two minutes and five seconds on five consecutive baskets. Torrance was responsible for eight of the early points, including two three-pointers, forcing Mississippi State to take their first timeout. Over the next 10 minutes, the Crimson Tide extended its lead to 11 points until an 11-4 scoring run by the Bulldogs cut the margin to two points with just 1:39 remaining in the first half.

A made free throw by Green gave the Tide a three-point lead, but a leaning jumper by Dee Bost with just two seconds left in the half let the Bulldogs escape to the locker room with a one-point deficit, 27-26.

Alabama surrendered the lead for the first time with 17:53 left in the game on a Barry Stewart made free throw to put Mississippi State up one, 30-29.

Over the next 6:33, the Tide would go on a 17-5 run to push its lead out to 12 points. It was the largest lead of the afternoon for either squad. It didn't last long however, as the Bulldogs answered back with a 14-2 run of their own to regain the lead, 48-46, with 7:32 remaining.

Another 10-1 run by Alabama put the Tide up for good even though Mississippi State was able to come within one point on two occasions in the last 1:27. The Tide trailed for just 28 seconds over the course of the entire game and never fell behind by more than two points.

Alabama's defense held Mississippi State, the league's best three-point percentage team, to a measly 11.1 percent on just 2-of-18 from behind the arc. Alabama connected on 31.6 percent on 6-of-19 shooting from beyond the three-point line.

"I thought it was a total team effort and a great win," Grant said. "They fought hard and they've done a very good job here lately paying attention to the detail and maintaining that belief that if they did what we asked them to do, that we're going to get better as a team and continue to progress. I am happy for them. We're going to enjoy this today and then obviously get prepared for next week."

Neither team shot the ball noticeably better than the other with the Tide making 22-of-63 (34.9%) from the field while the Bulldogs shot 20-of-63 (31.7%).

Alabama will conclude its three-game home stand on Wednesday, Jan. 27 when they host LSU in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m.