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Alabama Basketball Implodes

All the good will and good feelings over the big win over Oklahoma on Saturday were given back on Wednesday with a bad home loss to Missouri, 69-60.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Alabama
I can’t stand up for falling down.
~ Elvis Costello
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it was nice while it lasted. All the accolades heaped on the Tide basketball team after their thrilling victory over 12th ranked Oklahoma and Trae Young, slid off into the abyss after a unemotional, low energy loss to a team they should have beaten, in Missouri. The Tigers took the win by a score of 69-60, both teams are now 14-8 overall, while the Tide is 5-4 in league, while MU is 4-5.

After several consecutive sellout crowds, the 8 p.m., midweek tip seemed to keep some of the crowd away, as it fell short of capacity. Saturday’s game with OU was the best atmosphere in Coleman for years, if not ever. Wednesday night it seemed like a crowd more suited for the ballet or opera. The team play uninspired, and the crowd mimicked them.

The Tide started slowly and lethargically in the first half, falling behind by a score of 31-19 before closing on a 14-4 run to cut the half time lead to 35-33. Almost all of that was Collin Sexton. Sexton toyed with his defender and hit a long three as the clock struck zero at the break. Missouri shot well in the first period, 14-25 for 56%, including 5-11 (46%) from the three point line, as well as 2-3 from the free throw line. The Tide had a good shooting first half (at least from the field) at 11-21 for 52% including 3-7 for 43% from deep. However, 8-15 from the free throw line kept ‘Bama from having a half time lead.

Sexton came out after the break and promptly tied the game on a drive to the basket. After that basket, the Tide only made five more field goals the rest of the game, and only stayed remotely close by the propensity of Missouri to foul. The Bama defense finally started getting some stops around the five minute mark, but could never capitalize. Each offensive possession ended in either a turnover or a bad, late shot clock heave at the hoop. The Tide never got into a flow of any kind, partly because of Missouri’s style, but much at their own hand.

In the second half, the Tide shot a putrid 6-27 for 22% and a dismal 2-13 from three point range for 15%. The free throw shooting did improve, to 13-17, 77%. Missouri continued to shoot well, going 11-22 in the half with 4-12 from deep.

The Tide got destroyed on the glass 37-27. MU had 13 assists, but turned the ball over 19 times. ‘Bama had only six assists (but when you aren't scoring baskets...), and turned it over 11 times.

Sexton was a one man band, as he scored 23 points with four rebounds and two assists with only one turnover in 33 minutes. Dazon Ingram joined him in double digits with 10 and four rebounds, and Donta Hall posted nine points and four boards. One game after looking like the second coming of Scottie Pippen, Herbert Jones drew a goose egg in 19 minutes of action. He did tie for the team lead with four rebounds to go with his zero points. Braxton Key has been getting better and better, but had a terrible game tonight, scoring one point with three rebounds. John Petty was 1-6 from the field and scored five points. All in all, it was a terrible performance.

All the praise and the talk of a eight or seven seed, looks to have gone to the team’s head. The Tide couldn't afford any home losses, and lost to their most beatable opponent left on the schedule. They try to get back on the right track Saturday when they travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators. The game tips at 3 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN. The Tide needs to bounce back strong and pull the upset.

Roll Tide Roll

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