Weatherspoon brothers lead Mississippi St past Alabama 67-63
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Nick Weatherspoon had 18 points and his brother Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 13 to lead Mississippi State past Alabama 67-63 on Tuesday at Humphrey Coliseum.
Mississippi State (18-6, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) snapped a four-game losing streak to Alabama and had lost 10 of the previous 11 meetings entering Tuesday’s contest.
Collin Sexton led Alabama (15-9, 6-5) with 18 points, while Daniel Giddens and Braxton Key each scored 11.
The game featured 45 fouls and the two teams combined to shoot 58 free throws.
Nick Weatherspoon was 8 of 14 from the field and also had three rebounds. He scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half and did so on 4-of-7 shooting.
”I say the main thing lately is confidence,” said Nick Weatherspoon. ”I’ve been working a lot on my pull-up jumper and I haven’t been using my speed a lot. So tonight I used my speed to get to the rim and I used my pull-up jumper.”
Nick Weatherspoon’s layup with 4:36 left in the second half gave the Bulldogs the lead for good at 55-54. The lead was stretched to 64-58 with 45 seconds left following a dunk by Mississippi State junior Aric Holman.
A 3-pointer by Alabama’s Avery Johnson Jr. cut the Mississippi State lead to 66-63 with eight seconds remaining. Lamar Peters made 1 of 2 free throws with seven seconds remaining to ice the win.
”It was a great win for us against a very good team,” said Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland. ”You think about some of the quality wins that Alabama has, wins over Auburn, Rhode Island and Florida. So this is obviously our best win of the year and it is a good quality win for us. It was two good defensive teams going after it and we showed a lot of toughness.”
For the game, Mississippi State shot 46 percent and held Alabama to just 37 percent. Alabama made 24 of 30 at the charity stripe, but hit just 3 of 22 shots from beyond the arc. Mississippi State was 17 of 28 at the free-throw line and made just 2 of 19 shots beyond the arc. Alabama had just four assists and were outrebounded 36-29.
”They’ve been a hot team at home all year long, especially in SEC play,” said Alabama head coach Anthony Johnson. ”They did a terrific job defending us and denying us. They were physical and did a good job defending us at the 3-point line. But we didn’t help ourselves with the way we didn’t take care of the ball, especially in the first half.
”The SEC is a tough conference and we have to be able to rise to the challenge, especially on the road.”
The first half featured a lot of fouls and free throws by both teams, as the two combined for 27 free-throw attempts and 20 fouls. The opening 20 minutes also featured seven lead changes and five ties before Mississippi State grabbed a 30-28 halftime advantage.
The Bulldogs shot just 39 percent in the first half, while Alabama made 37 percent. Mississippi State missed 11 of 12 attempts beyond the arc before intermission, while Alabama missed all seven of its 3-point attempts.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide fell to 2-4 in SEC road games this season.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have now won four straight SEC games for the first time since 2008.
Alabama returns home on Saturday to host Tennessee.
Mississippi State goes on the road Saturday to Missouri.