Starkville, Miss. For the past week, Mississippi State couldn't shoot from three-point range. Against No. 5 Alabama, the Bulldogs could barely miss.
Mississippi State caught the Crimson Tide off guard by hitting 12 of 17 three-point shots in a 76-62 victory on Saturday. It was the Bulldogs' second win over a top-five team.
As most teams have done this season, Alabama (20-4, 8-2 SEC) dropped into a zone against the Bulldogs, daring them to take long jumpers.
The strategy has been foolproof lately. Mississippi State (18-6, 5-5) came into the game having shot just 10-of-52 from behind the arc in its last three games.
But when the Tide backed off, the Bulldogs burned them.
"Statistically, they haven't proven they can make (threes) like they did today," Alabama coach Mike Gottfried said. "So you kind of go with the statistics there a little bit, and they certainly answered those."
Timmy Bowers scored 24 points and Michael Gholar had 15 for Mississippi State, trying to get back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.
"I think it looks very good. They come in ranked five in the country and we just beat them," said Bowers, who was 4-for-7 from three-point range. "It says a lot for this team that we can go out and play with anybody in the country."
Erwin Dudley scored 23 points to lead the Crimson Tide, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.
Despite all the progress Alabama has made as a road team this season, Humphrey Coliseum remains a mystery. The Tide have lost four straight in Starkville.
MSU led by as many as 10 in the first half despite playing without Mario Austin, the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Austin took a shot to the head fighting for a rebound in the opening minutes.
No. 1 Duke 95,
Georgia Tech 63
Atlanta Jason Williams scored 28 points and Mike Dunleavy added 23 as Duke matched its best start in school history. The Blue Devils (22-1, 10-1 ACC) beat Georgia Tech (10-14, 3-8) for the second time this season.
Duke led by 14 points at halftime, opened the lead to 20 in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second and went ahead by 32 when Williams hit a three-pointer with 10:30 left. Ed Nelson had 17 points for Georgia Tech, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
No. 6 Cincinnati 103, No. 19 Wake Forest 94
Winston-Salem, N.C. Steve Logan scored 30 points, Immanuel McElroy added a career-high 19 and the Bearcats (22-2) shot a season-best 58 percent. Reserve Broderick Hicks scored a career-high 24 points for the Demon Deacons (17-7), who played without second-leading scorer and rebounder Josh Howard, who has an ankle sprain. Wake fell to 0-5 against Top 10 teams.
No. 7 Kentucky 68, LSU 56
Baton Rouge, La. Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points and blocked six shots to lead the Wildcats (16-6, 6-4 SEC). Ronald Dupree had 22 points and 13 rebounds for LSU (12-11, 2-8), which played without injured Collis Temple and lost its sixth straight.
No. 8 Florida 80, Vanderbilt 54
Gainesville, Fla. Matt Bonner scored 22 points, and Florida blew away Vanderbilt. Udonis Haslem added 19 for the Gators (18-4 overall, 7-3 SEC), who have won three straight following a season-high three-game losing skid. Vanderbilt (14-9, 4-6) entered as the SEC's top three-point and free-throw shooting team but shot 20 percent (3-of-15) from beyond the arc and 65 percent (15-of-23) from the line.
No. 9 Gonzaga 77,
San Diego 76
San Diego Dan Dickau hit his fifth three-pointer with 1 minute left, and Anthony Reason made two free throws with 3 seconds left to help Gonzaga hold off San Diego. Cory Violette scored a career-high 25 points and added 15 rebounds for Gonzaga (22-3, 9-1 West Coast). Dickau scored 22 points for the Zags, who have won seven straight and 19 of 20.
No. 11 Arizona 85, Washington State 68
Tucson, Ariz. Luke Walton had 26 points and 10 rebounds as Arizona took sole possession of first place in the Pac-10. Salim Stoudamire had 17 points and Rick Anderson 11 for the Wildcats (17-6, 10-3), who won their 34th in a row over the Cougars (5-16, 1-12).
No. 13 Oregon 103, 2 OT
Berkley, Calif. Amit Tamir scored six of his career-high 39 points in the second overtime as Cal fought back from a 19-point deficit and handed Oregon its second consecutive overtime loss. Shantay Legans added 22 points for the Bears (17-5, 8-4 Pac-10). Luke Jackson scored a career-high 29 points for the Ducks (17-7, 9-4), who lost 90-87 in overtime to No. 20 Stanford on Thursday.
No. 15 UCLA 57
Villanova, Pa. Gary Buchanan had 20 points and Brooks Sales made two free throws with 21 seconds left to give the Wildcats (13-8) the victory. Billy Knight and Matt Barnes each had 17 points for UCLA (16-7).
No. 17 Georgia 72
Auburn, Ala. Marquis Daniels made five free throws late, including two with 3.5 seconds left, for Auburn (10-11, 2-8 SEC), which snapped a six-game losing streak. Jarvis Hayes had 23 points for the Bulldogs (18-6, 7-4).
With 2:01 left, Kyle Davis of Auburn and Georgia's Steve Thomas were ejected for fighting after Adam Harrington's three-pointer had brought the Tigers into a tie at 60.
Derrick Bird then hit a runner in the lane to give Auburn a 62-60 lead with 53 seconds left.
Georgia coach Jim Harrick received two technicals and was ejected. Bird hit three of four free throws for the technicals and Brandon Robinson added another two for a 67-60 lead with 46 seconds left.
No. 18 Marquette 72, Southern Miss 58
Hattiesburg, Miss. Cordell Henry scored 21 points, all in the second half, and Dwyane Wade added 16 as Marquette (21-3, 10-1 Conference USA) extended its win streak to 10 games. Clement Carter led Southern Miss (7-14, 2-9) with 15.
No. 20 Stanford 77, Oregon State 55
Stanford, Calif. Curtis Borchardt had 20 points and 12 rebounds to record his fourth straight double-double. Teyo Johnson scored a career-high 15 points and Casey Jacobsen added 13 as the Cardinal (15-6, 8-4 Pac-10) won their ninth straight against the Beavers at home.
No. 21 Illinois 69, Purdue 67
Champaign, Ill. Brian Cook had 16 points and Illinois overcame an 18-point first-half deficit and beat Purdue (11-14, 3-8 Big Ten). Illinois (17-7, 6-5) held the Boilermakers scoreless for 8 minutes early in the second half during a 17-0 run.