Bama meets Miss. St. in SEC quarters

Mississippi State (15-13, 9-10) vs. No. 1 seed Alabama (21-6, 16-2)

Southeastern Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee; Friday, 12 a.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the SEC semifinals is on the line as Mississippi State matches up against Alabama. In the regular season, Alabama won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last faced each other on Feb. 27, when Mississippi State made only one 3-pointer on 12 attempts while the Crimson Tide hit 7 of 28 from deep en route to a 64-59 victory.

BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Juniors D.J. Stewart Jr. and Tolu Smith have led the Bulldogs. Stewart has averaged 16.3 points while T. Smith has recorded 12.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The Crimson Tide have been led by Jaden Shackelford and Herbert Jones, who are averaging 14.4 and 10.9 points, respectively.DOMINANT D.J.: Stewart has connected on 34.7 percent of the 124 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 6 for 18 over the last three games. He’s also made 79.6 percent of his foul shots this season.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Bulldogs have recently converted baskets via assists more often than the Tide. Alabama has an assist on 36 of 81 field goals (44.4 percent) over its past three games while Mississippi State has assists on 43 of 83 field goals (51.8 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: The Alabama offense is rated 29th in the country by scoring 79.6 points per game this season. Mississippi State has only averaged 69.6 points per game, which ranks 211th.

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