Five players reached double figures as the No. 18/16 Alabama men’s basketball team used clutch shooting and timely defensive stops down the stretch to hold on and defeat Mississippi State, 81-73, inside Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide secured its ninth consecutive win – the longest winning streak since beginning the 2002-03 season at 9-0 – and improved to 13-3 overall while staying undefeated in Southeastern Conference play (8-0).
The eight league wins matches the team’s conference win total last season and equals the second-best start to SEC play in school history, matching the 8-0 starts by both the 1986-87 and 1974-75 teams. Only the famed 1955-56 Rocket 8 team had a better start in conference action, finishing that season with a perfect 14-0 league mark.
Forward Herbert Jones led the Tide with 17 points, seven assists, four steals and three blocks in the victory. He also claimed his team-leading eighth Hard Hat Award and led the team in plus/minus (+14). Guard Joshua Primo finished with 16 points including going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Guards John Petty Jr. (12) and Jaden Shackelford (12) along with forward Alex Reese (11) also reached double figures on the night.
Mississippi State (9-7, 4-4 SEC) was led by D.J. Stewart Jr.’s game-high 27 points, while Ivan Molinar added 19 in the losing effort.