for this game

Alabama aims for top spot in SEC West, hosts Mississippi State

Feb 7, 2007 - 4:13 PM Mississippi St (12-9) at No. 19 Alabama (17-5) 8:00 pm EST

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Alabama has a chance to take control of its division in the Southeastern Conference, but it will have to be at the expense of one of its toughest rivals.

Riding a modest two-game winning streak that has put the 19th-ranked Crimson Tide in first place in the SEC West Division, Alabama hosts Mississippi State on Wednesday.

Seven of the last nine meetings between the teams have been decided by six points or fewer, something the Crimson Tide (17-5, 4-4 SEC West) have become accustomed to with back-to-back three-point victories over South Carolina and Louisiana State.

Forward Jermareo Davidson played a pivotal role in both wins, scoring 31 points in the 73-70 win at LSU and adding 10 and nine rebounds as Alabama held off the Gamecocks, 64-61. Those efforts earned Davidson SEC Player of the Week honors.

Mississippi State (12-9, 3-5 West) is coming off one of its biggest wins of the season, an 85-78 home victory over LSU on Saturday.

The Bulldogs hit a season-high 13 3-pointers in that contest, snapping a three-game losing streak. They also had nine blocked shots in the game and now rank sixth nationally with an SEC-leading average of 6.95 per game.