Saturday , Feb , 21 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Tide roll over fourth-ranked Mississippi State

=== Tide roll over fourth-ranked Mississippi State ===

Starkville, MS (Sports Network) – Kennedy Winston tallied 31 points and 11
rebounds to lift Alabama over fourth-ranked Mississippi State, 77-73, in SEC
action at Humphrey Coliseum.

Emmett Thomas added 16 points for the Crimson Tide (13-10, 5-7 SEC), who won
for just the second time in eight games.

“We’re a team that nobody even ever, ever thought we’d have a discussion about
the NCAA tournament this late in February,” Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said.
“Who’s kidding who? We’re just going to play hard and see what happens.”

Lawrence Roberts netted 23 points and grabbed eight boards for the Bulldogs
(21-2, 10-2), who had an eight-game winning streak halted in their first home
game in two weeks.

Down by as many as 11 in the second half, the Bulldogs used a 12-3 run late in
the game to get back in it, but could never get over the hump. Timmy Bowers
nailed a three-pointer with four minutes to play, completing a 12-3 burst
which cut the deficit to 60-58.

But the Bulldogs would get no closer as Winston tallied the next five points
to extend the Alabama edge to 65-58.

“They hit some great shots, you’ve got to give them credit,” Roberts said.
“But we just didn’t buckle down and play with the energy and the defensive
toughness we usually do.”

Mississippi State did trim the advantage to 76-73 via a Shane Power three-
pointer, but there was only 1.7 seconds left.

Alabama turned the ball over 19 times, but shot 50 percent from the floor.

The Crimson Tide trailed by one at the intermission, but came out of the
locker room with 12 unanswered points to take a 44-33 lead with 16:34 to play
and led the rest of way.

This was the first of two regular season meetings between the two teams. The
Bulldogs come to Tuscaloosa in the final game of the season for both teams on
March 6.

The Crimson Tide own a 106-64 lead in the all-time series with the Bulldogs,
although the last four meetings have been close with a total of just 17
points separating the two.