Starkville, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Shannon Hale tallied a game-high 14 points as the Alabama Crimson Tide edged out the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 55-51, in SEC action at Humphrey Coliseum.
Levi Randolph netted 13 points for the Crimson Tide (15-9, 5-6 SEC), who have won two of their last three.
Gavin Ware and Craig Sword both knocked down 13 points for the Bulldogs (11-13, 4-7), who have lost back-to-back games.
There wasn't much to split the teams in the opening half, with the Crimson Tide shooting 35.7 percent from the field and MSU just slightly better at 36.4 percent, but going 0-of-3 from the perimeter. The visitors led 25-21 at halftime.
The Bulldogs weren't much better in the second half, shooting 37.5 percent. Despite dipping to 29.2 percent from the floor, the Tide were able to hang on with the help of 14-of-18 at the free-throw line.
Perimeter shooting was a problem for the hosts, who knocked down just 2- of-12 from beyond the arc.
In a game that featured eight ties and six lead changes, the Bulldogs hurt their prospects by turning the ball over 15 times.