Alabama Basketball Falls On Road Again
The Alabama men's basketball team fell on the road to Ole Miss Wednesday night, 79-67. Freshman forward Shannon Hale led the Crimson Tide with a career-highs of 27 points and nine rebounds.
The Crimson Tide of Coach Anthony Grant had already been assured of a losing regular season and the loss to the Rebels assured Bama of a losing Southeastern Conference record, too. Alabama fell to 11-17 overall and 5-10 in SEC games with three to play. Mississippi improved to 17-11 overall and 8-7 in the conference.
Alabama returns to Coleman Coliseum Saturday to host Auburn. Tipoff will be at 2 p.m. CST with television coverage by ESPNU. Auburn ended a 16-game SEC losing streak when the Tigers hosted Bama in Auburn earlier this year and embarrassed the Tide, 79-55.
Hale's 27 points came on 7-of-12 shooting from the field (58.3 percent), including 3-of-5 (60 percent) from behind the three-point line. He also set career-best marks at the charity stripe, knocking down 10-of-11 free throws. For Hale, it was his first game with more than 20 points, and his 10th game with double-digit points since the start of SEC play.
Senior Trevor Releford had 16 points and five rebounds, but Releford – who suffered a deep thigh bruise in Bama's previous game against Missouri – did not score until the final minutes of the first half and did not seem to be at full strength.
Alabama, of course, can ill afford to lose a player, or even have one slowed, since the team includes only eight scholarshipped players since junior Nick Jacobs is taking a late season "leave of absence.
Alabama had an all-too-typical first half, getting behind by 15 points at intermission, down 43-28. Ole Miss finished the half on a 13-3 run over the last 5:36. The Tide shot just 31.8 percent (7-of-22) from the field in the first half with nine turnovers.
Alabama trailed by as much as 17 early in the second half, but cut it to six with 6:10 remaining. UA was able to make a game of it by shooting 50 percent (13-of-26) in the second half. However, the Tide would not get any closer.
Junior Levi Randolph had 13 points and a team-high three assists.
Jarvis Summers led four Ole Miss players in double figures by scoring 20 points, while Martavious Newby finished with career highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
TIDE NOTES: Releford had his 29th consecutive game with double-digit points going back to last season. Releford now has 1,809 points, which makes him the sixth player in UA history to reach 1,800 points and the first since 1993 when James "Hollywood" Robinson accomplished the feat. He's now only four points shy of Robinson for sixth all-time.
Although Levi Randolph scored 33 points in the Tide's previous outing, a win over Missouri, Grant elected to not start him against Ole Miss.
Alabama held high-scoring Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson to 13 points, but Henderson did nail a three-pointer early in the game to give him 61 consecutive games making at least one three-pointer. That is a new SEC record. He and former Arkansas star Pat Bradley had been tied at 60 in a row.
Saturday's contest will be a special day of recognitions, as the Tide will celebrate the 40th year anniversary of the 1973-74 SEC Championship Team, as it welcomes back players, coaches and staff from that team. In addition, 2014 SEC Legend Eddie Phillips will also be recognized during the first half.
Alabama has not won a road game this season. Including three neutral site losses, Bama is 0-12 away from Coleman Coliseum this year. Alabama dropped to 0-8 in SEC road games with the loss to Ole Miss. The Tide has one more opportunity to win a road game this year when Bama plays at Kentucky Tuesday.
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