TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Donta Hall scored 19 points to lead Alabama to an 83-79 win over No. 22 Mississippi State on Tuesday night.
John Petty scored 13 points and Riley Norris added 11 for Alabama (13-7, 4-3 Southeastern Conference), which built a 12-point lead at halftime. The lead was cut to as little as three points in the second half.
The Crimson Tide finished the game on a field goal drought of nearly four minutes, taking just two shots from the floor during that span. Alabama made three of six free throws over the final 19 seconds.
Reggie Perry led the Bulldogs (15-5, 3-4) with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Lamar Peters and Quinndary Weatherspoon each scored 14, and Aric Holman added 12.
Mississippi State had a big second-half comeback, fueled by Weatherspoon and Perry, who combined for 26 points in the final 20 minutes. Holman cut it to 82-79 on a layup with three seconds left, but the Bulldogs were forced to foul Herbert Jones, who made one of two foul shots.
Overall, the Bulldogs outscored the Crimson Tide by 50-42 in the second half.
The teams struggled from beyond the arc, shooting a combined 11.7 percent (4 for 34).
Nick Weatherspoon finished with seven points in 14 minutes. He was carried off the court just before halftime with an apparent leg injury.
Alabama: After missing nearly all of last year and the start of this season with injuries, Norris’ leadership is key for this younger team. His numbers are starting to go back up, which means more playing time for the graduate senior.
Mississippi State: Nick Weatherspoon’s injury could be costly for the Bulldogs moving forward. The sophomore has started all 20 games and was the team’s fourth-leading scorer with 10.4 points a game before Tuesday.
With 13:46 left in the game, the Bulldogs trailed by 10. They went on a seven-point run over 1:30 to cut the Crimson Tide’s lead to three, starting a comeback.
Alabama: At Auburn on Feb. 2.
Mississippi State: At Ole Miss on Saturday.