Bulldogs battle but come up short at ‘Bama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Braxton Key scored 16 points and Dazon Ingram made two free throws with 21 seconds left to lift Alabama to a 68-62 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday night.

The Crimson Tide (13-6, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) squandered a 19-point halftime lead before holding on against the Bulldogs (14-5, 2-4). Alabama won its fourth straight game and second in a row without leading scorer Collin Sexton, who remained out with an abdominal injury.

Quinndary Weatherspoon made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 60-60 with 1:38 left. Then Key scored on a put back for the Tide and John Petty hit a jump shot.

Aric Holman dunked off an offensive rebound to make it 64-62 with 22 seconds left. Key’s second attempt at an inbounds pass went across midcourt to Ingram, who was fouled by Lamar Peters in a battle for the ball.

Nick Weatherspoon missed a quick 3-pointer at the other end and Herbert Jones headed to an uncontested dunk to punctuate the Alabama win.

Daniel Giddens scored a career-high 13 points fo Alabama on 5-of-7 shooting. John Petty had nine points on 3-of-11 shooting after hitting eight 3-pointers in Wednesday night’s upset of No. 17 Auburn.

Key had five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Peters led Mississippi State with 17 points, including three straight 3-pointers and a layup during one stretch to help the Bulldogs wipe out the big deficit.

Weatherspoon had 12 points and nine rebounds. Aric Holman added 11 points and 10 boards while Abdul Ado also scored 11.