Mississippi State Women's Basketball: Downward Spiral Continues Against Alabama

Mississippi State women's basketball's losing streak was extended to four after falling in Tuscaloosa.

Feb 25, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama guard Sarah Ashlee Barker (3) glides to the basket
Feb 25, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama guard Sarah Ashlee Barker (3) glides to the basket / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

Mississippi State women's basketball lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide 87-75 on Sunday afternoon at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa. The loss was the fourth-straight for Mississippi State, who fell to 20-9 on the season with a 7-7 record in SEC play.

After falling behind 25-16 in the first court, the Bulldogs fought back in the second to cut the halftime deficit to just three, trailing 40-37. After State took a brief lead early in the third quarter, the two teams traded blows before a 22-9 Alabama run put the Tide ahead by 11 going into the final frame. Bama never looked back, building the lead out to as much as 19 on the way to a comfortable win.

MSU had a solid day shooting wise. They shot 46% from the field and 37% from three while going 16-19 from the free throw line. Bulldog center Jessika Carter had another big performance with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Debreasha Powe had 15 points on a 5-10 three point shooting day. Darrione Rogers had a good scoring day with 12 points but committed seven turnovers.

And it was turnovers that proved most costly for Mississippi State. As a team, State turned the ball over 18 times. Those turnovers led to 23 points for Alabama, easily the biggest contributing factor to the loss. The overall defensive effort was also poor.

Alabama shot 51% from the floor and made 10 threes. Eight of those threes came from Aaliyah Nye who finished with a game-leading 28 points on 9-17 shooting. She wasn't the only member of the Crimson Tide to hit the 20-point mark. Sarah Ashlee Barker had an incredible all-around day with 22 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and six steals. Two other Alabama players were in double figures.

A once very promising season has quickly turned sour for Mississippi State women's basketball. The four-game losing streak is the longest thus far of Sam Purcell's tenure in Starkville. The Bulldogs are suddenly in very real danger of missing the NCAA Tournament after looking like a potential second-weekend team just a few weeks ago.

They badly need to snap this losing skid, but it may prove challenging to do so. Mississippi State's next game comes Thursday night at Auburn. The Tigers are fighting for a tournament bid themselves at 17-10 on the season. They have lost just twice at home in SEC play, with those losses coming to South Carolina and Tennessee. MSU will not be able to afford another lackluster performance.

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