STARKVILLE, Miss. – With the game tied at 64-64 and five seconds on the clock, sophomore Megan Abrams came flying in from the backside to tip in a missed layup and give Alabama the 66-64 victory over No. 9/9 Mississippi State on Sunday inside Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.
The win marks the first time the Crimson Tide (16-11, 6-8 SEC) has defeated the Bulldogs (23-5, 11-3 SEC) in Starkville since 2011. It also snapped a six-game losing streak to MSU. The win over a top-10 opponent is the Tide’s first since Alabama defeated No. 9 Kentucky, 57-55, on Jan. 23, 2014, in Lexington.
The Tide was led by junior Jasmine Walker, who had all 20 of her points in the second half. In the final 20 minutes, Walker went 8-of-11 from the floor, including going 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. Redshirt junior Jordan Lewis had 17 points, while senior Cierra Johnson had 10 points, eight assists and eight rebounds off the bench.
In the fourth quarter, Alabama took its first lead since the first quarter when senior Ashley Knight converted on a second-chance layup to put UA up 64-63 with 1:19 on the clock. Later on, a Bulldog free throw tied it up at 64-64 with five seconds to go before Abrams’ tip-in sealed the road win for the Crimson Tide.
“I’m just so happy for our kids and that’s what it’s all about,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “There’s nothing better than getting a big road win and seeing our players get to celebrate. They’ve been so close all season against really good teams and we’ve just been right there. Anytime you can come out on the road in a hostile environment, in front of a big crowd which is great for women’s basketball, and get a win, it’s great for our kids who absolutely deserve it.”
After struggling in Thursday’s game against Florida, Johnson bounced back in a big way after leading the team in rebounds and assists. Her eight assists were a career high, while the eight rebounds tied a season high.
Walker finished the game 8-of-16 from the floor and 4-of-7 from the three-point line. It was the second time this season the Montgomery native scored 20 points or more. She also tied a season high in steals with four.
Alabama will travel to No. 16/17 Texas A&M on Thursday.