Tussle in Tuscaloosa

Arkansas (16-9, 5-6) is one of only two league teams to roll the Tide this season and Alabama (17-8, 9-2) will be looking to avenge that loss Saturday night at 6 p.m. inside Coleman Coliseum.

TUSCALOOSA – Elephants have great memories.

When Arkansas (16-9, 5-6) comes to Tuscaloosa Saturday night trying to sweeps its season-series from Alabama (17-8, 9-2) the Crimson Tide will be seeking revenge for one of its two SEC losses.

But the Razorbacks – who downed the Tide 70-65 in Fayetteville back on Jan. 15 – aren't planning on rolling over for the Tide.

"We are going to go in confident – make no mistake about that," Pelphrey said. "We are not going in with a small percentage of hope. We are going down there with the mindset to win the basketball game."

Arkansas will be walking into a Coleman Coliseum where Alabama is 13-0 this season.

The Crimson Tide have a four-game lead in the Western Division and are tied for the overall lead with Florida.

They will be trying to clinch at least a share of the West title.

"Right now Alabama is the best team in the SEC in terms of their record and how they play," Pelphrey said. "They're tremendous. I guess ourselves and Vanderbilt are the only ones who have beat them. They are playing very, very well."

The two teams are coming in off of very different games with the Razorbacks having hammered non-conference foe Florida A&M 94-55 and the Tide struggling through a 67-56 win at LSU.

Alabama scored the last seven points to put the game away after LSU got within four late.

"There are things we would like to have done better, but we were happy with the win," noted Alabama head coach Anthony Grant, a former Florida assistant with Pelphrey.

Pelphrey knows what his team will have to do on Saturday night to get the season sweep over Grant's squad.

"It will be about matching their toughness, being able to take care of the basketball, rebounding with them," Pelphrey said. "On the road, it is important that we score, get to the free throw line and get easy baskets."

Getting easy baskets has been tough for teams against the Crimson Tide, who have the league's best defense.

"They are a tremendous defensive team that plays well together," Pelphrey said. "They are tough and physical inside. They are not going to you anything easy."

Alabama is led by JaMychal Green, a 6-8 power forward who had 18 points in the win over LSU. "JaMychal Green is as good as anybody in our league," Pelphrey said. "He is a player of the year candidate."

Freshman point guard Trevor Releford added 15 point, including the final five of the game while Tony Mitchell chipped in 13.

"Releford has come in and eased the loss of a great player and everybody around him as gotten better," Pelphrey said.

Arkansas' stars didn't exactly light it up in earlier win over Alabama with Marshawn Powell, Rotnei Clarke and Julysess Nobles going just 12-of-33 in the victory.

"I thought we were tough and just kind of hung around in that first game, but we missed a lot of very makeable shots in the first half against Alabama," Pelphrey said. "A lot of them were point blanks.

"We did some good things – make no mistake about that because it is not easy to beat Alabama, but if we get those opportunities again we need to convert those to win on the road," Pelphrey said.

It would also help if Arkansas gets the balance scoring it had against Florida A&M.

The starting line-up made 25-of-32 shots with Clarke and Powell having 14 points each, Delvon Johnson 13 and Jeff Peterson 10.

The Razorbacks led 43-6 at one point in the first half as everybody joined in on the scoring.

"It is a big deal when you can get scoring across the board," Pelphrey said. "It would certainly make it easier to win on the road."


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