No. 18 Alabama holds off Mississippi St.

Herbert Jones, banged up early, came back and finished with 17 points, a game-high seven assists, five rebounds and four steals, leading the No. 18 Alabama Crimson Tide to an 81-73 win over the visiting Mississippi State Bulldogs in an SEC game on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Joshua Primo added 16 points, including 12 in the first half, as Alabama (13-3, 8-0 SEC) won its ninth straight game. The Tide has also won their first eight conference games for the first time since 1987.

Alabama had three other double-figure scorers: Jaden Shackelford and John Petty (12 each) and Alex Reese (11).

Mississippi State (9-7, 4-4), which lost its second straight game and third in its last four, got a game-high 27 points from D.J. Stewart. It was Stewart’s career high in points against an SEC team.

The Bulldogs also got 19 points from Iverson Molinar, who wasn’t very efficient, making just 5-of-19 shots.

Alabama was without two of its top five rebounders in Jordan Bruner (5.3 per game, right knee) and James Rojas (4.0, undisclosed medical). In addition, leading rebounder Jones left the game in the first half after a hard fall.

However, Jones returned in the second half and finished the game shooting 5-for-8 from the floor, including 2-for-4 on 3-pointers.

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