Fans packed the Hump as the MSU men’s hoops squad willed their way to victory over the top-25 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday night, and they did it in some pretty dramatic fashion via a final score of 78-76.
From the tip, this one had the makings of a close one, with both squads trading buckets early and often. That all ceased, though, when both teams ran into some foul trouble, and had to play some of the younger side of their roster to close the half.
With ‘Bama players Noah Gurley and Jahvon Quinerly sidelined due to the aforementioned foul troubles, Iverson Molinar decided to steal the show, turning in a gem of a game with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Other Bulldogs managed double figures though, like Garrison Brooks, who poured in 16 points of his own, and Shakeel Moore added in 15. The surprising stat about Moore, though? He only shot 3-10 from the field. The transfer from NC State was integral to the win down the stretch, going 9-9 at the charity stripe.
Tolu Smith may not have turned in his best game against the Tide, but in his first game back since the Arkansas game earlier this season, he pitched in 6 points of his own and, according to his teammates, really “let the game come to him.”
The crowd was perhaps the biggest factor in the win, as MSU fans and students alike packed the hump for a total attendance of 8,090. That was a season high for attendance, with the previous high being 6,965.
When it was all said and done, after losing to Alabama three times in a row last season, Iverson Molinar finally got his revenge game, and according to him, it was sweet.
“It was amazing,” said Molinar after the game, “because, you know, I was on the team last year when they beat us three times and I feel like we needed this win. I needed this win.”
They needed it, and they got it. This is by far the Bulldogs’ biggest win of the season, and will elevate them to 4th in the SEC. They’ll have a chance to elevate that stock as they travel to play a 10-6 Florida on Wednesday before returning home for a chance at another revenge game against Ole Miss in another weekend game. Those tip off on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.