Road Again Unkind To Tide Basketball

Alabama has an unfortunate history this year of a late swoon in its losses. On Saturday in Columbia, Mo., the Crimson Tide started its fade at the beginning of the second half and it lasted until the bitter end of a 68-47 loss at the hands of the Missouri Tigers.

Alabama had the lead late in the first half, although a mini-rally by Missouri enabled the Tigers to take a 31-30 lead at intermission. Bama scored only 17 points in the second half, while Missouri poured in 37 to turn a close game into a rout.

Coach Anthony Grant's team has not won a game away from Coleman Coliseum this year.

The Crimson Tide is now 8-9 on the season, including 0-7 in games away from home. Bama is 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play. Missouri improved to 14-3 and also is 2-2 in the SEC.

The Tide will next begin a two-game homestand on Thursday night when it hosts the No. 7 Florida Gators at 6 p.m. CST in Coleman Coliseum. The contest will be televised on ESPN2. Alabama has won 14 consecutive SEC games in Tuscaloosa, the last loss coming last year on Feb. 14 to Florida.

Alabama was an anemic 14-48 from the field for only 29.2 per cent field goal shooting. Bama made just 5-20 three-point shots, 25 per cent. Missouri was good on 20-47 from the field, 42.6 per cent, and 3-10 on treys.

Although Alabama committed only four more fouls than Missouri (24-20), the Tigers were good on 25-34 free throws (73.5 per cent), while visiting Bama made 14-22 (63.6 per cent). The Crimson Tide is now 1-6 when shooting fewer free throws than its opponent.

Alabama senior guard Trevor Releford had 10 points, which pushes his double-figure scoring streak to 18 consecutive games, dating back to last season. Releford, though, did not have a good game. He made only 4-16 from the field, only 1-6 on three-point shots, and 3-6 on free throws before fouling out.

Freshman forward Jimmie Taylor had a career-high eight rebounds, which was also a team high. That was one reason the Tide was able to equal the bigger Missouri team in rebounding with 36 each.

Missouri took advantage of 15 Alabama turnovers to score 13 points. The Tide was able to get only seven points off Tigers turnovers because Missouri had only seven of them.

Although Missouri scored the first seven points of the game, Alabama was able to recover and take the lead in the first half. The game was tied three times and there were six lead changes, all in the first half.

Bama's big problem was bad defense in the lane. The Tigers scored 32 points in the paint to only 18 for Alabama.

Three other Tide players scored in double figures, led by freshman forward Shannon Hale with a team-high 12 points along with sophomore guard Retin Obasohan's 11 points, and junior guard Levi Randolph's 10 points.

Missouri guard Jabari Brown led the Tigers with a game-high 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Jordan Clarkson had 16 points and Earnest Ross 12. Johnathan Williams had 14 rebounds for the tigers.

(Alabama media relations contributed to this report)

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