In a must-win game for their faint NCAA tournament chances, the Crimson Tide laid an egg and lost at home to Georgia by a score of 60-55. This is the same UGA team that the Tide beat by 20 points earlier this season, except the Dogs best inside player, Yante Maten, missed this game with an injury. Unfortunately J.J. Frazier was available, and was by far the best player on the court. Frazier was held to four points in the ‘Bama victory in Athens, but scorched the Tide for 28 points on Thursday night. The Tide had no answer for the diminutive speedster, who constantly blew by ‘Bama defenders and hit 10-17 shots and 7 of 10 free throws. The Tide lost the game in the first 20 minutes and the last two minutes of the game.
Alabama’s Braxton Key hit a basket from his knees as the shot clock was running out in the first minute to tie the game at two apiece. That was the only moment in which Georgia did not lead. The Tide was absolutely horrible in the first half, and had to have a late period surge to reach 18 points at the break. Ar’Mond Davis gave the team somewhat of a spark with three shots from long range and a dunk off of a steal at the buzzer to keep ‘Bama within 12 at 30-18 at halftime. At the 10 minute mark the Tide had only scored four points. The Tide was listless, lifeless and dead in the water in the first period.
‘Bama came out with energy and purpose in the second half and steadily cut into the Dawgs’ lead. With 12 minutes left, the lead had been cut to four, and several times the Tide cut it to two and even one point, with a chance to shoot for the tie or lead. Each time the team could not get over the hump, usually ending the run with a turnover or a missed open shot. With around two minutes left, the Tide still had opportunities but could never capitalize, and had to start fouling the Bulldogs, who hit enough free throws to put the game away.
In Athens, Riley Norris and Corban Collins combined for 44 points, but in this one managed to go 0-12 shooting and scored nothing between them. Add in the additional +24 from Frazier and you have a 68-point turnaround in a game that the Tide lost only by five points.
In the first half, ‘Bama was a terrible, shooting 7-31 (22%) including 3-13 from three point range. In the second half, the Tide shot 14-32 for 44%, but was only 1-10 from deep. For the game, the team was 21-63 for a putrid 33% and 4-23 from the three point line for 17%, while shooting 9-12 for 75% from the charity strike. UGA was 23-49 for 47%, 3-10 (30%) from three point range, and 11-16 for 69% from the free throw line.
Alabama continued to dominate on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 42-30, with an astonishing 17-3 advantage on the offensive boards. However, so many times the Tide couldn't convert those second chances into points. Davis lead the team with 17 points on 7-18 shooting in 32 minutes of action. Braxton Key had his usual solid game with 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Donta Hall had a big impact with 11 points and nine rebounds. Bola Olaniyan had a typical Olaniyan line, eight rebounds, five offensive, with zero points in 18 minutes of action. Dazon Ingram was handicapped by three first half fouls, and fouled out late, and was limited to six points, three assists and only two rebounds. In 57 combines minutes three key players, Norris, Collins and Olaniyan, contributed zero points.
This was a very disappointing loss against a team that ‘Bama should have beaten. The loss dropped the Tide to 16-11 overall and 9-6 in the SEC. Georgia improved to 16-12 overall and 7-8 in conference. Now Alabama has a short turnaround and a road game to College Station to take on Texas A@M on Saturday at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN2. The Tide has a league leading 5-2 record in SEC road games, compared to 4-4 at home. The reinforcements can't get here fast enough.