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

Releford, Alabama knock out Razorbacks on Senior Day

Trevor Releford only needed 24 points to move into fifth place on Alabama’s all-time scoring list. As if it was scripted, the senior guard tallied 24 points in his final home game of his career Saturday afternoon versus Arkansas.

Releford increased his career total to 1,862 points, scoring double-digit figures for the 31st consecutive game. He has now scored double-digit points in 41 of his last 42 games, dating back to last season.

But all he wanted was a win on Senior Day.

“I thought before the game I would be sad and crying, but I wanted the game so bad that I think that was more than the crying,” Releford said. “I just wanted to win.”

The Alabama’s men’s basketball team blew out the Razorbacks 83-58 in its final game of the regular season. The Crimson Tide closed out its schedule with a 13-18 overall record and 7-11 record in Southeastern Conference play.

Despite its embarrassing loss, the Arkansas players and coaches praised Releford’s performance.

“When you’ve got a guy like Trevor Releford … I love that kid,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “ I’ve known him for quite a while, and he had a great Senior [Day]. He kind of put them on his shoulders and those guys followed his lead.”

Along with Releford, senior walk-on Isiah Wilson made his debut in the starting lineup for his final game inside Coleman Coliseum.

“I was nervous going out there,” Wilson said. “It was my first time ever being in front of a big crowd like that so, yeah, my emotions were everywhere.”

Wilson scored five points and finished with a career-high two rebounds.

Alabama coach Anthony Grant joked saying he should have started Wilson all season if it would result in 25-point victories.

“I can tell you for all our guys, he’s an invaluable part of our team,” Grant said. “The work that he puts in, his attitude every day, just his approach to everything we ask him to do has been outstanding. He’s an outstanding part of our team, quality young man, and it’s great to see him go out there and have fun and be a big part of what we were able to accomplish today.”

Alabama went to the locker room at halftime with a 39-16 lead. The 23-point halftime lead was its largest of the season, passing the 21-point lead it held over Stillman on Nov. 18, 2013. And it never relinquished its lead.

The Crimson Tide dominated the Razorbacks down low, outscoring them 29-11 in the paint. Alabama also flexed its muscles on the glass as it pulled down 41 rebounds compared to Arkansas’ 25.

“You have to give Alabama a lot of credit, they came out with a lot of emotion and they got us,” Arkansas senior guard Kikko Haydar said.

Other than Releford, three other Alabama players scored double-digit points. Freshman forward Shannon Hale recorded 18 points, junior guard Levi Randolph scored 11 points and freshman center Jimmie Taylor contributed 10 points and six rebounds.

“I thought Jimmie was really locked in,” Grant said. “Obviously the last time we played Arkansas, Bobby Portis had a career night and did really well. I thought [Taylor] really took the challenge to be able to go out there and affect the game in terms of what he does from a defensive standpoint.”

Alabama put together one of its best performances of the season on Saturday, maintaining a large lead over the course of the game.

Releford said the team’s performance should ignite it heading into the postseason.

“We played hard for 40 minutes, and when we play like that, that’s the kind of results we get,” Releford said. “I think guys saw that today, and leading to the SEC Tournament, I think confidence should be sky-high.”

The Crimson Tide will see its next action in the SEC Tournament, which will take place in Atlanta. With the win over Arkansas, Alabama earned a first-round bye in the tournament and will face LSU on Thursday, March 13 at 6 p.m. as the No. 10 seed.

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