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

No. 14 Alabama men’s basketball drops second game against No. 4 Tennessee after offensive collapse

CW / Riley Thompson
Alabama guard Mark Sears (#1) dribbles down the court against Tennessee.

Nine minutes and three seconds. 

That’s how long Alabama men’s basketball went without a field goal in the second half of its 81-74 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday night inside Coleman Coliseum.  

Tennessee again held the Crimson Tide well below its 90.6-points-per-game scoring average, after holding Alabama to 71 back in January 

“I thought we threw away way too many possessions on the offensive end,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said postgame. “When you don’t make a field goal for nine minutes, you’re probably not taking the best shots.”  

Most of the season, the question with this Alabama team was if it could develop a decent defense to pair with its elite offense.  

The Crimson Tide put together a decent defensive performance Saturday night, but when it counted, KenPom’s top-ranked offense in the nation was nowhere to be found.  

Alabama started out a bit slow offensively in the first half, but this is not uncommon with this Crimson Tide team. This allowed Tennessee to jump out to an early lead, which it would hold for almost the entire second half. 

The Volunteers led by as many as 11 in the first half but had their lead erased by a 12-0 Alabama run to end the half.  

After entering the second half with a 41-39 lead, Alabama would have one of its worst offensive halves of the season, shooting 30% from the field and 11% from long range.  

Alabama made just four of its last 23 attempts from the field.  

On top of its offensive struggles, the Crimson Tide found itself on the wrong side of the whistle for much of the game.  

Before the end of the first half, the Crimson Tide had four players with at least two fouls. 

Alabama finished the game with five players with at least three fouls, with forward Grant Nelson fouling out after recording just 3 points on 1-3 shooting. The 6-foot-11 forward did not attempt a single shot inside the 3-point line.  

Even after a disastrous second half, the Crimson Tide still found itself in a position to win the game, trailing 72-75 with just over a minute remaining.  

With the game and the top spot in the SEC standings on the line, the ball would be in the hands of the man expected to lead Alabama to victory in these situations.  

With just over 30 seconds remaining, guard Mark Sears was unable to convert on a running catch-and-shoot 3-pointer, instantly sucking the life out of the sold-out crowd in Coleman Coliseum.  

Sears led the Crimson Tide in scoring with 22 points along with six assists.  

“The season is not over,” Sears said. “We’ve still got something to play for. We’re just going to come in tomorrow and learn from what we did and the mistakes and we’ll get better from this.” 

Now, Alabama is tied with the surging South Carolina Gamecocks (12-4) for second place in the SEC. 

“We’ve got to take care of our business,” Oats said about Alabama’s place in the standings. “If we get some help, great. If we don’t, we can still get a two seed.” 

Next up for the Crimson Tide is a rematch with the No. 24 Florida Gators, this time down in Gainesville. The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 6 p.m. CT.  

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