DULUTH, Ga. — Meghan Perkins scored 17 points, Daisha Simmons added 13 as Alabama beat Mississippi State 63-36 in the play-in game of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Wednesday night.
The Crimson Tide (13-17) won its first SEC tournament game since 2005. Alabama, the lowest seed at No. 13, will face fifth-seeded South Carolina on Thursday.
Darriel Gaynor finished with a team-high eight points for Mississippi State (13-17) as Alabama used a tight zone defense to double-team the ball-handlers and force the 12th-seeded Bulldogs to shoot 22.6 percent. They also turned the ball over 20 times.
Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer called a 30-second timeout with 15:32 remaining after Alabama took a 12-point lead when Gaynor's turnover led to a layup by Perkins.
Schaefer looked exasperated just a couple of seconds later as Kendra Grant's turnover led to a jumper by Kaneisha Horn.
ALABAMA 63, MISSISSIPPI ST. 36
Halftime—Alabama 23-17. Three-point goals—Alabama 3-17 (Simmons 1-4, Robinson 1-2, Jack 1-2, Myers 0-9), Mississippi St. 4-26 (Gaynor 2-10, Grant 1-7, May 1-1, James 0-5, Ward 0-3). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Alabama 48 (Simmons, Robinson 10), Mississippi St. 42 (Grant 11). Assists—Alabama 6 (