TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – If ever there was a road win for this University of Arkansas basketball team to take, it was on Wednesday night.
But it appears that the Razorbacks did not want it bad enough.
Demetrius Jemison had a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds and Richard Hendrix added 12 points and 10 rebounds as Alabama downed equally struggling Arkansas 59-56 before a paltry crowd at Coleman Coliseum.
It was just the second win in six games for the Crimson Tide (15-13, 4-9), who won despite shooting just 41 percent from the field, 20 perecent and 54.2 percent from the free throw line.
Darian Townes and Sonny Weems had 17 points each in what was the fourth loss in five games for the Razorbacks (18-9, 7-6).
Townes was 7-of-10 from the field, but the rest of the team was a combined 15-of-51 on the night.
Arkansas shot 35 percent from the field, 14.3 percent from the 3-point line and 56.3 from the free throw line.
The Razorbacks quest to make the NCAA Tournament doesn't get any easier on Saturday when it hosts No. 14 Vanderbilt, who upset No. 1 Tennessee on Tuesday night.
The first half was one of absolute offensive futility for both teams.
Alabama shot a woeful 36.4 percent from the field, but that bested Arkansas' frigid 30 percent (9-of-30).
The two teams combined to go 1-of-16 from 3-point range and just 6-of-17 from the free throw line.
Alabama grabbed a 26-20 lead right before halftime, but Townes' old-fashioned 3-point play with 16 seconds left cut it to 26-23 at the break.
Bama then pushed that to 28-23 before Arkansas finall got it in gear with a 11-4 run.
That started with a Ervin 3-point and Arkansas took the lead when Townes scored inside on the break to put the Razorbacks up 34-32 with 15:59 left in the game.
But the Crimson Tide scored the next 7 points with Yamene Coleman's bucket inside surging his team ahead 39-34 and prompting an Arkansas timeout at the 13:13 mark.
The Razorbacks rallied back to tie it 43-43 when Ervin put in a fast-break lay up with 8:11 left in the game.
Townes' slam got Arkansas within 49-48 at the 3:34 mark, but Jemison hit a 12-footer and the visitors never got closer than 3 points from that point on.
QUOTES AND MORE DETAILS COMING
Alabama 59, Arkansas 56
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