TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –¬†With Alabama coming in at first place in the SEC and a comeback win over Georgia a few days ago, there was trouble that this game could have been a trap game. It looked that way after Alabama started just one-of-seven from three, and only lead 23-16 12 minutes in.

Then an 18-2 run over the final five minutes gave Alabama breathing room and go into halftime leading 47-24. The run was highlighted by Mo Dioubate, who had five points and multiple offensive rebounds during the run.¬†Alabama’s biggest problem during the first half was the shooting. The team shot just 28 percent from three, and only three players made a single three.

Alabama found success on the interior, with 22 points in the paint in the first half. Defensively, the team forced 11 turnovers and scored 22 points off the Bulldogs mistakes. Mississippi State also did not make a three in the first half, missing on all seven of their attempts.

The second half started with some interesting foul calls, and Alabama picked up three team fouls in the first 90 seconds of the half. Unsurprisingly, Nate Oats got assessed a technical foul shortly after the start, something that was brewing for a while.

While Oats had to get quieter in the second half, Alabama did not. The team scored 52 second half points, lead by Mark Sears with 12, and Dioubate with seven. The birthday boy Aaron Estrada had nine points in the final 20 minutes, along with four rebounds.

“Having a guard like Aaron makes it easier for us,” said Dioubate, “I just love having him as a teammate,” he added.

The second half shooting was a little better from deep, as Alabama shot 37 percent from beyond the arc. Some of those makes were late in the game, but the Crimson Tide were still able to have a respectable shooting half. Not that the shooting mattered that much, as Alabama rolled into the 99-67 victory.

“We’ve been asking our guys to come out and try put 40 minutes of both sides of the ball together,” said Nate Oats, “That’s been the closest we’ve come…They (Mississippi State) have been out rebounded twice this year, this was one of them,” he added.

The biggest problem for Alabama coming into this game was guarding Tolu Smith III and Josh Hubbard. While Smith III got his 23 points last night, Hubbard had just seven points and was one-for-nine from the field.

This was something Alabama needed to do in order to win this game. Hubbard and Smith III were the Bulldogs best chances of winning, and the Crimson Tide were able to lock down one of them. It was mostly Rylan Griffen who guarded Hubbard, and he held his own against the freshman guard.

With the win Alabama moves to 16-6 on the year, and 8-1 in SEC play. The team is still top of the conference, and a tough date with Auburn on the road is next.