Alabama beats Mississippi State 82-80 in overtime
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Alabama coach Avery Johnson says Retin Obasohan has been the Tide's ''Superman'' over the past few weeks.
Sometimes even super heroes need sidekicks. Obasohan scored a team-high 25 points but it was a crucial 3-pointer from Justin Coleman that pushed Alabama over Mississippi State for an 82-80 win in overtime on Tuesday night.
Obasohan said Coleman, who scored 15 points off the bench, was ''huge.''
The game was tied at 76 in overtime when Coleman nailed a 3-pointer from the corner. He later added two free throws to help the Tide seal the win.
''I'm so happy for him to see him hit those big shots,'' Obasohan said. ''Because I know he has that in him. He's one of the hardest workers I've ever met.''
Alabama (12-9, 3-6 Southeastern Conference) won for just the second time in six games.
Mississippi State (9-12, 2-7) lost to Alabama for the sixth straight time, which is the team's longest losing streak in the series since 1987.
Alabama trailed 64-57 with five minutes left, but rallied down the stretch to tie the game in regulation. Mississippi State's Craig Sword had a chance to push the Bulldogs ahead in the final seconds but missed a free throw.
Gavin Ware led Mississippi State with a career-high 28 points.
Alabama's Riley Norris scored 16 points and Arthur Edwards added 12. Obasohan also had eight assists.
''We were pretty good in overtime,'' Johnson said. ''We got some stops and a lot of contributions from a lot of different players. Retin led us again - he's been playing like Superman for us. He gets stronger as the game goes on.''
Alabama pushed ahead early and had a 38-34 halftime advantage, fueled largely by Obasohan's 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. The Tide shot 15 of 29 (51.7 percent) from the field in the first half.
Mississippi State never fell too far behind. Ware countered Obasohan with 14 first-half points and a pair of steals.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 9:45 left when Fred Thomas knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 53-51. I.J. Ready made another 3-pointer as the shot clock was winding down to push the Bulldogs' advantage to 56-51.
''I feel like this is a game we should have won,'' Thomas said. ''It played out a lot of different ways - missed free throws and they outrebounded us.''
Ware scored at least 20 points for the sixth time this season, making 12 of 16 shots from the field.
But Alabama rallied for their third straight win at Humphrey Coliseum. The Tide were helped by 11 3-pointers.
Alabama: Obasohan has scored 932 career points. He's just 68 points shy of becoming the 49th player in Crimson Tide program history to reach 1,000 points. ... Junior forward Michael Kessens left late in the game with a left leg injury and didn't return.
Mississippi State: Freshman Aric Holman earned the second start of his career. He finished with two points ... Ware came into the game shooting 62.1 percent from the field, which leads the SEC and ranks 14th nationally.
Missouri at Alabama on Saturday.
Mississippi State at LSU on Saturday.
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