Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Amidst Turnovers, Alabama men’s basketball falls big to No. 6 Tennessee

CW / Riley Thompson
Alabama guard Aaron Estrada (#55) jumps to take a shot against Tennessee.

Alabama men’s basketball lost its first game in SEC play Saturday to No. 6 Tennessee, 91-71. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 4-1 in the conference. 

Despite shooting a similar percentage overall throughout the game, the biggest story of the night was the turnover margin.  

Alabama finished the game with 22 turnovers, compared to just 6 turnovers from Tennessee. The 22 Crimson Tide turnovers translated to 23 points for Tennessee.  

“Give them a ton of credit, they dominated us in a big way,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “When you have 22 turnovers and give up 17 second-chance points, you are not going to win very many games.” 

 Alabama was stifled on the offensive end, finishing the game with just 71 points. The Crimson Tide came into the game as the fourth-best-scoring offense in the country, averaging 90.2 points per game.  

Alabama point guard Mark Sears led the way on the offensive end, scoring 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting. As a team, Alabama was held to just 4-for-21 despite averaging almost 12 made three-pointers per game.  

Sears accounted for seven of the Alabama turnovers. Oats emphasized how to make life easier on Sears.  

“We have to give him help,” Oats said. “Other guys need to get open and we just have to be tougher as a team in general.” 

The Crimson Tide finished the game shooting 25-for-56 from the floor (44.6%) and 19% from the three-point line.  

Tennessee shot 32-for-66 for the game, including making 10 3-pointers. Tennessee shooting guard Dalton Knecht led the game with 25 points despite making just one of his six attempts beyond the arc.  

However, the biggest factor of the game remained the turnover differential. 

Alabama had a -9 turnover differential as the Crimson Tide turned the ball over 13 times compared to just 4 turnovers for Tennessee. 

Tennessee capitalized on its takeaways, outscoring Alabama 13-2 in points off of turnovers. 

Similarly, Alabama also lost the rebound battle in the first half 17-14, including being out-rebounded on the offensive end 9-2. 

Sears and shooting guard Rylan Griffen led the way for the Crimson Tide in the first half, each scoring 7 points on 2-for-3 shooting.  

The crowd appeared to play a critical role, supplying the Volunteers with constant energy to feed off throughout the game. 

After finally dropping a game in conference play, Alabama will look to fix things on the turnovers and the defensive end going forward.  

“It is a combination of being stronger with the ball and being tougher,” Oats said. “We need to clean up the turnovers going forward.” 

Next up, the Crimson Tide will head back to Tuscaloosa for another test against its biggest rival, the Auburn Tigers. Auburn ranks No. 13 in the nation and is now the only remaining undefeated team in SEC play.  

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