The Alabama men’s basketball team continued their turnover and rebounding struggles in a 76-73 defeat to the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday.
Alabama is still hopeful for a spot in the NCAA tournament, but with this loss to a now 20-9 (9-7 SEC) Arkansas squad, the team is in dire need to improve on their current 17-12 (8-8 SEC) record.
Bama was outrebounded 36-28 and was responsible for 18 turnovers, one more than in their sloppy effort on the road against Auburn Wednesday. Bama came into yesterday’s game ranked at an unimpressive 10th in total SEC rebounding (36 per game) as well as 12th in free throw percentage (68%), with Arkansas actually trailing in both categories ranked 12th and 14th respectively.
The Tide had a balanced offensive scoring attack with Braxton Key (16), Colin Sexton (15), John Petty (14) and Dazon Ingram (13) all chipping in on the scoring effort.
Donta Hall, who has been averaging upward of 15 points per game over the last five, was not much of a factor with only 4 points on 0-3 free throw shooting.
Arkansas’s scoring effort was just as balanced with six of their players scoring in the double digits. Guard Daryl Macon led the way with 17.
Arkansas started forcing turnovers immediately on the way to an early 11-4 lead. The game was tight for all 40 minutes after that, as Alabama was actually able to take the lead after a Braxton Key three-pointer with 16:52 left in the second half.
Later in the second half, Arkansas was able to capitalize on a seven-minute scoreless streak by Bama with a 9-0 run
Bama’s offensive struggles came at the wrong time when they played the foul and free throw game in the final seconds, where Colin Sexton and Donta Hall missed three in a row from the charity stripe.
Avery Johnson made it clear that the team is “not there yet,” which is disappointing considering there are only two regular season games left for this team.
Projected first round NBA draft pick Colin Sexton’s presumed first and only season with the Tide may end in an extremely disappointing manner if they fail to make the NCAA tournament.
Avery Johnson also is pressed to go beyond his two straight NIT appearances in his 3rd year as coach.
The next couple games may end up having a play-in factor as Bama plays the Florida Gators Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum.