The Associated Press
The Meridian Star
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Trevor Releford scored 28 points and Alabama coasted to an 80-61 win over Mississippi State on Wednesday night.
Releford was 10-of-13 shooting with six 3-pointers for the Crimson Tide (8-8, 2-1 Southeastern Conference), which has won a league-high 14 consecutive SEC home games.
Shannon Hale added 12 points for Alabama, Retin Obasohan had 11 and Rodney Cooper 10.
Releford was 6 of 9 from 3-point range and is averaging 22 points over the last five games. Obasohan also had four blocked shots and three steals.
Gavin Ware's 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting led Mississippi State (11-5, 1-2), which was held within three points of its season-low in scoring. Craig Sword scored 12 points.
The Bulldogs had managed 58 in an early win over Jackson State and 63 against Kentucky a week ago. They were coming off a win over rival Mississippi.
Alabama shot 52.6 percent (30 of 57) from the floor.
It was a dominant performance for the Tide, which led by 12 at halftime after scoring just 58 points in a road loss to Georgia.
The Tide has won the last four meetings and six straight over the Bulldogs at Coleman Coliseum.
Releford hit two 3-pointers in a 36-second span and Hale hit a third to give Alabama a 56-37 lead with 12:19 left.
The quick surge came after Releford was called for a technical foul after making a basket and the Bulldogs followed with five straight points.
Alabama's lead ballooned to 23 points on another Releford 3-pointer and a drive by Randolph and Mississippi State couldn't get it much closer.
The Tide closed the first half on a 9-1 run to take a 38-26 lead and only heated up after that.
Alabama hit 17 of 30 shots (56.7 percent) in the second half and reached 80 points for only the third time this season.
Mississippi State came in averaging a league-best 9.6 steals and had only three, forcing 11 turnovers.
I.J. Ready played only six minutes before leaving after a collision with Carl Engstrom.