Bama Hoops Hype

RECAP: Arkansas Wins in Tuscaloosa as Tide Drop Third Straight

Alabama Men's Basketball

TUSCALOOSA – Alabama had a chance but missed free throws and turnovers were once again the downfall in another tough loss. The Crimson Tide lost its third consecutive game with a 76-73 loss against Arkansas at Coleman Coliseum on Saturday night. The loss dropped the Tide to 17-12 on the season and 8-8 in SEC play.

Alabama missed three straight free throw attempts in the game’s final 30 seconds when the visitors led 73-70. The Crimson Tide still had one final chance at the buzzer but Collin Sexton’s half court heave went wide of the basket.

“You can’t just cruise into these games,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said after the game. “I’m very disappointed, I’m disappointed for our fans. I’m very disappointed in our overall effort and I’m very disappointed in myself.”

Despite the loss, Alabama had four different players score in double figures. Sexton finished with 15 points but shot just 30 percent from the floor and was 0-for-5 from beyond the arc. He matched a career high with six assists and made nine free throws for the seventh time this season.

Braxton Key was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time since January 31st but did not help with the team’s sluggish start. In the first half, Key had just two points and three turnovers. However, he was a big factor in the Tide’s second half comeback. By the end of the game, Key led the team with a season-high 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting. He packed the stat sheet with five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal.

Dazon Ingram was at the center of a couple of controversial plays on the night. He was on the receiving end of two flagrant fouls and received a technical for tossing the ball at Daryl Macon after blocking a shot. Ingram still put together a strong performance, finishing with 13 points. It was the first time this season that the Crimson Tide lost when he scored more than 10 points.

Arkansas (20-9, 9-7) made its first three 3-point attempts of the game and led by as many as 10 points in the first half. Alex Reese and Avery Johnson Jr. hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to end the half but Alabama still trailed 35-31 after one half of basketball. Entering Saturday, the Razorbacks had won 36 consecutive games in which they held a halftime lead.

Alabama used a 16-2 run spanning over both halves to take its first lead of the game at the 16:55 mark of the second half. The Crimson Tide led by as many as four points but could never pull away. The home team went 7:21 without a field goal in the second half but still led 57-56 with 6:53 to go in the game.

“We made a lot of mistakes on defense and I think we let it carry into our offense,” Key said after the game. “We just have to grow from that. We’re 20-something odd games into the season, we have to grow from that and be more mature.”

The Razorbacks used a 13-3 run to take its biggest lead of the second half with 2:41 to go in the game. Their final five points came from the free throw line.

John Petty knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the game to cut the lead to 75-73 with five seconds left. He did not get another look but finished with 14 points. Petty has made 10 of his last 13 3-point attempts in Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama will play its final home game of the season on Tuesday when it hosts the Florida Gators. The two teams have already met once this season, with the Crimson Tide winning 68-50 in Gainesville. Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN.

Caleb Turrentine is the editor for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for in-game updates at @BamaHoopsHype.

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