Alabama (7-6, 0-1 SEC) opened its SEC slate on Saturday with a 104-98 double overtime loss at Florida. The hot shooting Crimson Tide led that game 46-32 at the half and still had an 8-point lead with two minutes remaining regulation but lost. John Petty Jr. led Alabama in scoring with 19 points. Twelve of Petty’s point came from three point shots. He was 4 of 10 from beyond the arc. The Tide had five other players score in double figures in the game. Bama has been racking up the points all season. Alabama’s 146 made threes ranks 16th nationally out of over 350 teams. Kira Lewis Jr. and John Petty Jr. co-lead Alabama in scoring averaging 16.6 points per game each. The two have made a combined 68 3-point shots. Defensively, Alabama is the inverse of its offense; that is they are terrible. The Tide is giving up nearly 80 points a game, worst in the SEC. Bama is also worst in the SEC in turnover margin. They give away on average 2 more turnovers a game than they gain.
Mississippi State (9-4, 0-1 SEC) opened its SEC schedule on Saturday in Starkville losing to Auburn 80-68. State trailed 29-24 at the half and pulled within two points of Auburn in the second half before the Tigers put them away. Forward Reggie Perry led the Bulldogs in scoring with 21 points, most of those scored in the paint. Guard Nick Weatherspoon added 18 points. It was just the third game for Weatherspoon this season. He was suspended indefinitely last season. Mississippi State was limited to just three made 3-point shots on 23% shooting from beyond the arc. On the flip side, State limited Auburn to just 22.7% from 3-point range. Perry is the Bulldog’s leading scorer (15.8 ppg). Tyson Carter is State’s second leading scorer (14.5 ppg). He also the Bulldogs biggest threat from three point range having made a team high 26 treys. MSU’s biggest strength is their rebounding. They currently lead the SEC in rebounding margin (+7.5). They are also second in the league in blocked shots averaging 5.5 a game.
I like Bama in this one. State is among the bottom tier of the SEC at defending the three. That’s not good playing a team like Alabama. MSU is well-coached though. They might just get the win, especially if they can defend the three like they did at Auburn.
Mississippi State-Alabama Prediction
Alabama 81, Mississippi State 76
Wednesday‘s game tips off at 7:00 p.m. ET. (6:00 p.m. CT.) TV: SEC Network.