BAMA
MISSST

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Mississippi State cruises to 81-62 win over Alabama

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Lamar Peters embraces the role of the point guard and loves to be the guy who sets up the offense, distributes the basketball and plays great defense.

Scoring is secondary. But if the shots are there, he's happy to take them.

Peters scored 22 points, Quinndary Weatherspoon added 20 and Mississippi State beat Alabama 81-62 on Tuesday night.

''My main focus is trying to get the team going,'' Peters said. ''I'm the quarterback out there so I've got to get these other guys going. But when I see I can knock down shots to help us out, I'll do that too.

Then he grinned and added: ''I like scoring.''

Peters, a 6-foot junior, scored at least 20 points for the first time in Southeastern Conference play, shooting 7 of 15 from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range. His energy seemed to flow through the rest of the offense and the Bulldogs were consistent the entire night, shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.

''For me, this is the best game we've played since I've been the coach at Mississippi State,'' Mississippi State's fourth-year coach Ben Howland said. ''Because of how we played, how hard we played defensively. It's the best game. I hope we can build on this.''

Mississippi State (17-7, 5-6) was in dire need of a win after losing the first two games of its current homestand to LSU and Kentucky. The Bulldogs came out hot from the start, pushing to a 22-10 lead by midway through the first half and taking a 43-30 advantage into halftime.

''We just had to get back on the winning side,'' Peters said. ''Coach has been emphasizing our defense and showing us the film. We hadn't been helping each other a lot - letting everyone play one-on-one.''

Weatherspoon had another efficient outing while passing 1,800 points for his career. The senior finished 8 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. He also had a team-high six assists.

Mississippi State freshman Reggie Perry added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Alabama (15-9, 6-5) won the first meeting between these two teams 83-79 in Tuscaloosa, but struggled in the second matchup on the road. The Crimson Tide never led and finished with 18 turnovers. Freshman Kira Lewis Jr. led Alabama with 17 points. Tevin Mack added 13.

Mississippi State had a 28-5 advantage in points off of turnovers.

''It just wasn't one of our better nights on the road,'' Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. ''Whenever you turn it over 18 times on the road, it leads to 28 points and another game where we got outrebounded, you're going to have a tough time winning. Give (Mississippi State) credit.''

BIG PICTURE

Alabama: It's usually been a struggle for the Crimson Tide on the road, and Tuesday's loss was no exception. Alabama had several sloppy turnovers that resulted in easy Mississippi State buckets, which was too much for the Tide to overcome.

''Whenever you turn the ball over like that, it's hard to get your defense set,'' Johnson said. ''Mississippi State's a fast team. Nick Weatherspoon and Peters, those guys in a foot race, they're pretty fast like our guys. It looked like we were playing catch-up most of the night.''

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs earned a little momentum heading into a two-game road trip against Arkansas and Georgia. Mississippi State had good balance in Tuesday's win, with Peters, Weatherspoon and Perry all contributing important plays.

UP NEXT

Alabama returns home to host Florida on Saturday.

Mississippi State goes on the road to face Arkansas on Saturday.

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Key Players
K. Lewis Jr.
2 G
Q. Weatherspoon
11 G
33.8 Min. Per Game 33.8
17.9 Pts. Per Game 17.9
2.5 Ast. Per Game 2.5
5.5 Reb. Per Game 5.5
45.7 Field Goal % 50.5
37.8 Three Point % 39.6
82.8 Free Throw % 83.6
  30-second timeout called 21.0
  Defensive rebound by Reggie Perry 22.0
  Lawson Schaffer missed 3-pt. jump shot 24.0
+ 3 Lamar Peters made 3-pt. jump shot 30.0
  Offensive rebound by Lamar Peters 39.0
  Reggie Perry missed dunk 41.0
  Defensive rebound by Robert Woodard II 1:09
  John Petty missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:11
+ 2 Robert Woodard II made dunk, assist by Quinndary Weatherspoon 1:24
  Defensive rebound by Reggie Perry 1:42
  Tevin Mack missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:44
Team Stats
Points 62 81
Field Goals 22-51 (43.1%) 29-59 (49.2%)
3-Pointers 7-24 (29.2%) 7-15 (46.7%)
Free Throws 11-12 (91.7%) 16-20 (80.0%)
Total Rebounds 26 35
Offensive 8 12
Defensive 17 19
Team 1 4
Assists 14 13
Steals 3 15
Blocks 5 6
Turnovers 18 10
Fouls 16 12
Technicals 0 0
17 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
22 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Alabama 15-9 303262
home team logo Miss. State 17-7 433881
Team Stats
away team logo Alabama 15-9 72.0 PPG 41.2 RPG 12.3 APG
home team logo Miss. State 17-7 77.3 PPG 38.3 RPG 14.3 APG
Key Players
2
K. Lewis Jr. G 13.5 PPG 2.6 RPG 2.9 APG 43.3 FG%
2
L. Peters G 11.9 PPG 2.0 RPG 5.2 APG 39.8 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Lewis Jr. G 17 PTS 5 REB 2 AST
L. Peters G 22 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
43.1 FG% 49.2
29.2 3PT FG% 46.7
91.7 FT% 80.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Lewis Jr. 17 5 2 5/12 3/7 4/4 2 34 0 0 4 0 5
T. Mack 13 5 2 5/13 3/9 0/0 2 25 0 0 5 2 3
D. Ingram 12 3 2 4/6 0/1 4/4 4 28 0 0 3 3 0
D. Hall 11 7 2 5/6 0/0 1/2 2 27 1 3 1 3 4
H. Jones 4 1 3 1/4 0/0 2/2 2 19 2 0 2 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Lewis Jr. 17 5 2 5/12 3/7 4/4 2 34 0 0 4 0 5
T. Mack 13 5 2 5/13 3/9 0/0 2 25 0 0 5 2 3
D. Ingram 12 3 2 4/6 0/1 4/4 4 28 0 0 3 3 0
D. Hall 11 7 2 5/6 0/0 1/2 2 27 1 3 1 3 4
H. Jones 4 1 3 1/4 0/0 2/2 2 19 2 0 2 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Norris 3 1 0 1/4 1/4 0/0 0 21 0 0 0 0 1
A. Reese 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 7 0 0 1 0 1
A. Johnson Jr. 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 1 0 0
L. Schaffer 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
D. Giddens 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0
J. Petty 0 2 3 0/3 0/2 0/0 1 23 0 2 1 0 2
G. Smith 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 4 0 0 0 0 0
T. Barnes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Wood - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Davis-Fleming - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 62 25 14 22/51 7/24 11/12 16 200 3 5 18 8 17
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Peters 22 3 3 7/15 3/6 5/5 1 33 4 0 4 1 2
Q. Weatherspoon 20 0 6 8/10 3/4 1/2 2 31 3 0 1 0 0
R. Perry 14 10 0 4/7 0/0 6/6 2 28 0 1 2 5 5
A. Ado 10 1 0 4/7 0/0 2/5 3 25 2 2 1 1 0
N. Weatherspoon 6 5 3 3/7 0/2 0/0 2 26 4 1 0 1 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Peters 22 3 3 7/15 3/6 5/5 1 33 4 0 4 1 2
Q. Weatherspoon 20 0 6 8/10 3/4 1/2 2 31 3 0 1 0 0
R. Perry 14 10 0 4/7 0/0 6/6 2 28 0 1 2 5 5
A. Ado 10 1 0 4/7 0/0 2/5 3 25 2 2 1 1 0
N. Weatherspoon 6 5 3 3/7 0/2 0/0 2 26 4 1 0 1 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Woodard II 6 9 1 2/9 0/0 2/2 0 25 2 1 1 3 6
T. Carter 3 1 0 1/2 1/2 0/0 2 19 0 0 0 0 1
A. Holman 0 2 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 13 0 1 1 1 1
J. Tshisumpa - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Datcher - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Clayton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Feazell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Gray - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Storm - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Oduro - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Junkin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Stewart - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 81 31 13 29/59 7/15 16/20 12 200 15 6 10 12 19