Alabama Basketball Falls At Kentucky

Although there has been some dissatisfaction with this Kentucky team among the bluegrass faithful, UK is still better than your average cat. The Wildcats had lost two consecutive games, but it is rare that Kentucky would lose three in a row, and even more unlikely UK would lose two in a row in Rupp Arena.

Alabama could be said to have had the back luck to try to keep Kentucky's losing streak going, but truth is it wouldn't have taken that much. On Tuesday night in Lexington, the Wildcats took a 55-48 win over Alabama.

The Tide led by 28-25 at halftime, but Bama managed only 20 second half points. Trevor Releford was the only Bama player in double figures and he was the game's leading scorer with only 13 points. Kentucky was led by Julius Randle with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

It's not difficult to find areas where Alabama might have been able to pull out a win. Most obvious was rebounding. Kentucky is one of the nation's best rebounding teams and Alabama is among the least productive in that area, and on Tuesday night the Wildcats managed a 41-27 advantage on the boards. UK pulled down 15 offensive boards.

There was also the issue of fouls. No team goes into Rupp Arena without being called for more fouls than the Wildcats, and this game was no exception. Bama, playing zone defense the entire night, was whistled for 19 personals, while UK was called for only 11 fouls. As a result, Kentucky outscored Alabama by 11 points from the free throw line, UK making 18-24, Bama 7-11.

Adding insult to injury – and perhaps being the difference in the game – Kentucky scored five points off its own missed free throws by out-hustling Alabama for rebounds and then making one two-point basket and one three-point basket.

Alabama made more field goals than Kentucky. The Tide hit 19-50 from the field (38 per cent), while Kentucky was 16-49 (32.7 per cent). Neither team was very good on three-point shots, Bama making 3-13 for 23.1 per cent and the Wildcats hitting 5-28 for 17.09per cent.

Alabama was also slow to learn from where it could get its shots away. The Tide suffered seven blocked shots at the hands of the Wildcats,

Alabama finished regular season play without a victory away from Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa. Bama was 0-9 in Southeastern Conference games on the road, 0-11 in games on the opponents' courts, and 0-3 in neutral site games. With the loss, the Crimson Tide fell to 12-18, 6-11 in SEC play, while the Wildcats move to 22-8, 12-5 in conference games.

Alabama will play its final game of the regular season Saturday when it hosts the Arkansas Razorbacks at 3 p.m. CST. The contest will be Senior Day as guards Isiah Wilson and Trevor Releford will be recognized prior to tipoff.

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