Tide Defeats Miss. State in Record Fashion, 98-49

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Earnest Shelton
Earnest Shelton


» Box Score
By Chris Woodfin

TUSCALOOSA -- The No. 22 (AP) ranked University of Alabama men’s basketball team shut down No. 17 (AP) Mississippi State, holding the Bulldogs to just three first half field goals and Earnest Shelton scored 23 of his career high 34 points in the first half in leading the Crimson Tide to its biggest Southeastern Conference victory in 58 years, 98-49.  The victory improves Alabama to 14-3 for the season, 3-1 in SEC play.  MSU fell to 15-4, 3-2 in the SEC in suffering their worst SEC loss in school history.

Alabama’s defense smothered State in the first half.  Following a basket from All-American Lawrence Roberts with 15:36 remaining in the opening period, Alabama held the Bulldogs without another field goal until Roberts hit a lay-up with 59 seconds remaining. 

That stretch proved to be fatal for the Bulldogs as Earnest Shelton outscored the Dogs 20-10 over that stretch.  The senior guard connected on five first half three-pointers to stake Alabama to a 49-18 halftime advantage.  The Tide shot 56.7 percent (17-30) from the field in the half while State connected on just three of 20 shot attempts.

“I liked our defense in the first half,” Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried said.  “I thought we were down in a stance and playing smart.  I thought that the defense was really the key to everything.  They gave us a chance to build a lead because they weren’t making field goals; they did make some baskets at the foul line.”

UA’s offense continued at the same pace in the second half.  Alabama connected on 17 of 30 shots again in the second half to finish the game with a season high 56.7 field goal percentage.  State hit 14 of 27 shots in the second period.

“Obviously, we shot the ball well,” Gottfried said.  “Our guys are really executing the offense really well.  We have a really, really unselfish team; we have guys that want to pass the ball; they look to pass it, they’re trying to find the open guy.  But we played well.”

UA won every facet of the game, hitting 12-25 from three-point range while holding MSU to zero three point field goals.  The Tide also held a 38-25 rebounding advantage and connected on 90 percent of its free throws (18-20).  Alabama also dished out 20 assists compared to just nine for State.

In addition to Shelton’s 34 point effort, Kennedy Winston scored 34 points and Chuck Davis added 14.  Ronald Steele dished out 10 assists.

Roberts and Gary Ervin led MSU with 19 points and 10 points respectively.

The Crimson Tide returns to action Saturday afternoon in Oxford, Miss. against the Ole Miss Rebels.  Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m.  The game will be televised by Jefferson Pilot and can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.

PHOTO GALLERY

Game Mississippi State 01
Big Al joins the Mark's Madness section as they get fired up for the game.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Mississippi State 02
A packed house is set to watch the Tide take on the Bulldogs in a key contest.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Mississippi State 03
Evan Brock follows a shot with a dunk.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 04
Evan Brock and Jermareo Davidson fight for the ball.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 05
Chuck Davis pounds the glass for two points.
(Photo by Dusty Compton)

Game Mississippi State 06
A Crimson Cabaret member helps keep the fans fired up.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 07
Jermareo Davidson takes the ball up strong.
(Photo by Dusty Compton)

Game Mississippi State 08
Chuck Davis confers with Coach Mark Gottfried.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 09
Chuck Davis chats with MSU guard Shane Power.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 10
Coach Mark Gottfried talks with ESPN reporter Heather Cox at halftime.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 11
The Tide huddles up before the game to focus on the task at hand.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 12
Earnest Shelton enjoyed his career-best night.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 13
Earnest Shelton goes up for a reverse layup.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 14
Ronald Steele signals the play as he brings the ball upcourt.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 15
Kennedy Winston shoots under the basket.
(Photo by Kent Gidley)

Game Mississippi State 16
Kennedy Winston fights for position down in the block.
(Photo by Dusty Compton)