Tide Must Avoid Scoring Drought

In each of Alabama's 10 basketball losses this season, the Crimson Tide has either held a lead or ben within striking distance in the second half only to suffer a serious scoring drought. It is something to be concerned about as Bama nears the end of regular season play.

Alabama is 19-10 this season, including 11-5 in Southeastern Conference games. The Crimson Tide is in Oxford for tonight's game against Ole Miss at 8 p.m. CST. ESPNU will televise the game. Mississippi is 21-8 overall and 10-6 in SEC games.

Alabama's unfortunate periods of being unable to score have allowed opponents to have big runs near the ends of games.

Most recently, the Tide had a 45-37 lead over sixth-ranked Florida in Gainesville with 11:17 to play. Over the next 7:59 Bama scored only two points while the Gators had a 19-2 rn to a 56-47 lead and eventual 64-52 decision.

At LSU, Alabama had a 10-point lead, 69-59, at the 3:37 mark. In that final 3:37, the Tigers went on a 10-0 run to tie the game, send it into overtime, and eventually defeat Bama 97-94 in three overtimes.

In perhaps the most damaging loss of the year at Auburn, Alabama led 26-17 at the 17:42 mark of the second half and the Tigers went on a 21-2 run over the next 12:14 to take a 10-point lead. Auburn won the game, 49-37.

At Knoxville, Bama led by 46-39 with 6:08 to play. The Vols went on an 11-1 run to a 50-47 lead and won by 54-53.

Alabama opened SEC play at Missouri. Although the Tide didn't have the lead in the second half, with 11:29 to play it was Missouri 55, Alabama 51. Over the next 2:29, the Tigers outscored Bama 7-0 and went on to an 84-68 decision.

Prior to SEC play, Alabama allowed second half runs of 14-3 by Tulane (losing 53-50), 17-3 by Mercer (losing 66-59), 21-7 at VCU (losing 73-54), 15-4 to Dayton (losing 81-76), and 10-6 over final eight minutes at Cincinnati (losting 58-56).

All sorts of remedies have been suggested for the scoring problems. As of late, the easy answer would seem to be to put the ball into the hands of junior guard Trevor Releford.

In Alabama's last four games, Releford has averaged 21.5 points per game, shooting 58.5 per cent from the field – 31 field goals made in 53 attempts. He has also made 8-18 three-point shotsw (44.4 per cent) in that period.

He has also connected on 16 of 20 free throw attempts (80 per cent).

Releford has also averaged 3.5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2.8 steals over the past four games.

The three-year starter has averaged playing 39.5 minutes per game over the four-game stretch.

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