TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama women's basketball team (15-13, 4-11 SEC) dropped a 68-55 decision to Mississippi State (11-16, 3-12 SEC) on Thursday in the Crimson Tide's final home game of the season in Foster Auditorium.
"I thought that during the first 10 minutes of the basketball game we just didn't play very well," Alabama Head Coach Wendell Hudson said. "That set the tempo, and Mississippi State did a good job of keeping us off balance offensively. They took our home-court advantage away. I thought in the second half we played a whole lot better than in the first half. Mississippi State played well together as a team and hit some big shots."
Senior forward Tierney Jenkins led Alabama with her 19th double-double of the season, collecting 17 points and 17 rebounds. Junior guard Ericka Russell also contributed 17 points.
Alabama and Mississippi State kept it close in the early going, with two lead changes and three ties. After the score was tied up at 9-9, the Lady Bulldogs were able to maintain a lead for the rest of the half by shooting 13-of-26 (50.0 percent) from the field.
Trailing 34-25 at the break, Alabama started off slow allowing Mississippi State to increase its lead to 50-29 with 13:41 left in the game. The Tide tried to climb back by using a 15-2 run that lasted a little over five minutes to make it 52-44 with 8:30 left. Alabama used another late surge led by Jenkins and Russell to pull it within a five but fell short in the final minutes.
"We had 14 turnovers at halftime, and when you are facing a team that doesn't do anything other than set up a solid half-court defense, that is simply not good enough," Hudson added. "They didn't press us. They didn't crowd us. They didn't do anything special defensively, and we just turned the ball over again and again. We got it cut down there late in the second half, but it's hard to overcome a lead like that."
The Tide will hit the road this weekend as it takes on Arkansas on Sunday, Feb. 27, for the final game of the regular season. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.