The Alabama Crimson Tide have fallen on tough times with losses in three of their last five games, but they will look the rebound Saturday at Mississippi State.
The crux of Alabama’s issues have come on defense. The Crimson Tide have given up at least 70 points in seven of their nine games since the start of December and they rank 183rd in Division I in points allowed on a per-possession basis.
The Bulldogs enter ranked 16th in points scored on a per-possession basis, even though starter Tolu Smith has missed 10 of the 15 games this season. The forward might return on Saturday. Guard Iverson Molinar leads the team in scoring at 17.5 ppg.
The glass has been kind this season to Mississippi State, which ranks No. 8 in rebound rate, while Alabama is 239th in allowing opponents to rebound their missed shots at 28 percent.
Alabama is 240th among Division I teams in 3-point shooting percentage at 28.5 and 40 percent of the points Mississippi State allows have come on made 3-pointers, the 12th-highest percentage in the country. Alabama’s inability to shoot from the outside will prove to be costly.
The play: Mississippi State, +1.5.