Feb. 2, 2011
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's basketball team improved to a Southeastern Conference best 6-1 in league play and 14-7 overall following a 75-61 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs Wednesday night at Coleman Coliseum.
Sophomore Tony Mitchell led a balanced Crimson Tide scoring attack with a career and game-high 23 points. Senior Charvez Davis added 17 points, including 5-of-8 from beyond the three-point arc. Freshman Trevor Releford scored 16 points with a career-high eight assists and junior JaMychal Green notched his 18th career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Tide has now won four straight games and eight of nine overall and remains undefeated at home, moving to 12-0 in the Coliseum this season.
"I'm very proud of our team," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "It was a great win to go 2-0 against Mississippi State. We've obviously got a lot of respect for their program and it was a great win for our guys."
Alabama never trailed and led by as many 18 points during the contest, outrebounding the Bulldogs 39-25 and held a 16-3 advantage in second-chance points, including 10-0 in the second half. Alabama outscored Mississippi State 11-0 on fast break points and 35-22 on points in the paint. The Tide connected on 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in the second half as part of a strong 15-of-27 (55.6%) shooting performance.
Leading 35-23 at intermission, Alabama opened the second half on a 10-4 run, capped off by a Davis three-pointer, to take its biggest lead of the game, 45-27, at the 16:57 mark. The Bulldogs (11-10, 3-4 SEC) cut the lead to single digits over the next 5:43, pulling to within nine before Alabama mounted a 10-3 run to take a 63-47 lead at the 5:21 juncture. The Tide maintained a working margin of no less than 12 points over the final five minutes to seal the victory.
Alabama connected on seven of its first eight shots to open the game, highlighted by a thunderous Mitchell dunk on an assist from Releford that gave the Tide a 15-7 advantage.
"We got off to a good start," Grant said. "I thought our defense carried us early. They switched to zone and we kind of hit a low there. I don't know how long we went without scoring a basket but we were able to get to the free throw line then and closer to the half we got some shots off to get us a good lead through the half."
Dee Bost led Mississippi State with 18 points.
Alabama will travel to Knoxville on Saturday to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. (CST).