Alabama Men’s Basketball Outlasts Mississippi State, 82-80, in Overtime
Senior guard Retin Obasohan recorded 25 points and a career-best eight assists to lead the Alabama men’s basketball team to a thrilling 82-80 overtime victory at Mississippi State Tuesday night in Starkville, Miss. It is the sixth consecutive win in the series for the Crimson Tide, the longest streak in the series since winning six straight from 1985-87. It is also the fourth victory in the last five trips to Humphrey Coliseum.
Obasohan scored 16 points in the first half en route to his fifth consecutive game of 20 or more points and his 10th of the season – all of which have come in the Tide’s last 15 contests. Sophomore forward Riley Norris ended with 16 points, while sophomore Justin Coleman added 15 points off the bench. Senior guard Arthur Edwards chipped in 12 to give the Tide four players in double figures.
Junior Jimmie Taylor opened the scoring with a dunk, as Alabama scored eight of the first 10 points. The Tide would lead by as many as seven in the early minutes of the game, as Mississippi State struggled to consistently score.
A jumper by Travis Daniels made the score 18-14 in favor of Alabama at the 11:52 mark, but the Bulldogs would go cold from there, not making another shot from the field until there was 6:32 remaining. That allowed the Tide to build an eight-point lead at 26-18. Turnovers prevented the lead from growing even larger, as Alabama committed a total of 10 in the half.
Mississippi State closed within two in the final minute, but sophomore Riley Norris connected on a pair of free throws to give Alabama a four-point margin going into the locker room, 38-34. The Tide shot 15-for-29 in the opening frame. Senior Retin Obasohan led all scorers with 16 points.
Out of the locker room the teams traded buckets through the first few minutes of the second half. The Bulldogs were able to pull within a single point at 43-42 at the 15:10 mark, but a trey by Coleman pushed the lead back to four. Coleman’s three sparked a quick 8-0 run by Alabama, resulting in the biggest lead of the game (51-42).
Following a timeout, the home team responded in a big way, piecing together an extended 14-0 run for their first lead of the game. The run began with 12:56 left on the clock and did not end until Mississippi State was in front 56-51 with 8:53 remaining. A triple by Edwards finally ended the Tide’s drought.
Mississippi State led by as many as seven with only five minutes to play, but Alabama rallied back, using an 8-1 run to tie the game at 65-65 at the 1:43 mark on a layup by Coleman. Each team scored once more before the final minute. An offensive foul by Obasohan with 10 seconds on the clock and the game tied gave the home team the final possession, but a missed free throw by Craig Sword send the game into an extra frame.
To begin the overtime period, Mississippi State scored four straight points, but the Tide evened the score at 73-73. Alabama then went ahead 76-74 thanks to a three-point play by Obasohan with 2:05 to play. Coleman made another shot from deep after the Bulldogs tied the score at 76-76. Alabama went 3-of-4 from the free throw line, two makes from Coleman and one by Norris, in the last nine seconds to ice the victory.
For the game, the Tide shot 27-of-58 (46.6 percent), including 11-of-29 from beyond the arc. Mississippi State was 33-for-71 (46.5 percent) from the floor, but just 3-for-18 from deep. Alabama grabbed 40 rebounds compared to 39 for the Bulldogs, but the Tide committed 20 turnovers to only 12 by Mississippi State.
Gavin Ware was the game’s high scorer, finishing with 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting for the Bulldogs. Daniels scored 11 and Sword had 10. Daniels and Sword were also the leading rebounders for Mississippi State, bringing in seven each.
Alabama returns home for its next game, playing host to the Missouri Tigers on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. CT. The contest will air live on the SEC Network.