No. 2 Tide swells in second half to wash out Arkansas
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 2/2 Alabama men's basketball team defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks, 86-83, on Saturday afternoon inside Coleman Coliseum. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 25-4 overall and 15-1 in conference play, remaining atop of the league standings. Alabama used 58 second-half points to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit to secure the victory on Senior Night and remain undefeated inside of Coleman Coliseum this season.
Alabama struggled to get hot offensively during the opening period, shooting just 33.3 percent (10-30) from the field and 10 percent (1-10) from beyond the arc, while the Razorbacks took a 37-28 lead into the break. Alabama began the second half shooting 60 percent over the opening four minutes to allow the Tide to cut the lead to just three, 44-41. UA's defense held the Razorbacks' scoreless for over five minutes in the second half, and the Tide capitalized with a 15-0 run to establish a 55-46 lead midway through the second stanza as the Tide would never relinquish their lead for the final 14 minutes of the game.
Three of the five starters for Alabama finished in double figures by the day's end. Brandon Miller led UA in scoring for the 17th time this season with 24 points, also surpassing the 20-point mark for the 12th time. Jahvon Quinerly (16), Mark Sears (13) and Noah Clowney (10) joined Miller to give UA four players in double figures, with Clowney adding 13 rebounds to earn his third career double-double.
Arkansas (19-10, 8-8) had three players surpass the 20-point mark, with Nick Smith Jr. (24), Davonte Davis (21) and Ricky Council IV (20) leading the offensive effort. The Razorback trio combined for 65 of the team's 83 points (78%).
HEAD COACH NATE OATS POSTGAME COMMENTS
"We did not have a great start for the past two games in a row and I don't think we played our best basketball. At the beginning of the game, obviously we struggled and did not score for the first few minutes. We were down nine at the half and made some decent adjustments to start the second half. (Jahvon) Quinerly was able to get in the paint and create offense for us and ends up with seven assists. He (Quinerly) played really well. It's nice to have depth and different options. We have needed different guys to step up in different games and he was a big one this game. We've got to learn how to close games better too. Arkansas scored 20 points in the last two and a half minutes or so. I give Arkansas a ton of credit, they are a talented team. Nick Smith is obviously talented and they never quit on the game. They (Arkansas) were down by 11 and gave them themselves a chance to win in the last 30 seconds. Give our guys a lot of credit for coming out of the half and dominating. We have two games left in the regular season. We'll have at least a one-game lead after today over Texas A&M, depending on what happens between them and Mississippi State. Hopefully we can clinch at least a share of the regular season championship against Auburn on Wednesday. That game Wednesday is going to be a big game for us."
- The Crimson Tide is 14-0 inside of Coleman Coliseum for the first time since the 2010-11 season, where UA went undefeated at home that season (19-0)
- The win gives Alabama a regular season sweep over the Razorbacks for the first time since 2011-12 and the fourth time in series history
- The Tide and the Razorbacks are now tied 29-29 all-time since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992
- Arkansas is the first SEC team this season to surpass the 70-point mark against the Tide in regulation
- Alabama outrebounded the Razorbacks 48-37, with a 26-15 advantage in the second half
- The Crimson Tide dished out 13 assists compared to six from Arkansas, with Jahvon Quinerly leading the way with seven
- Brandon Miller led UA in scoring for the 17th time this season while surpassing the 20-point mark for the 12th time
- Noah Clowney earned his third career double-double (first since Jan. 21 against Missouri), leading UA in rebounding with 13 while contributing 10 points
- Charles Bediako grabbed 10 rebounds, including four from the offensive end, marking his third double-digit rebounding game this season
- The Tide outscored the Razorbacks in points in the paint 52-38
- Alabama shot 83 percent (25-30) from the charity strike, with Sears making 9-of-10 and Miller 7-of-7
- The Crimson Tide's 13.6 percent (3-22) performance from the three-point line is its lowest since its season opener against Longwood, when UA shot 10% (3-28)
- The Tide struggled offensively during the opening minutes, starting off the game 0-for-6 from the field
- After Arkansas took a 5-0 lead over the opening 3:38, Alabama battled back to take its first lead of the game, 17-15, with 9:15 remaining in the opening half
- Brandon Miller led the Tide in scoring with seven, with Dom Welch and Noah Clowney both contributing five a piece
- Alabama's first three-pointer came at the 10:11 mark when Dom Welch rattled one in from beyond the arc
- Arkansas used a 16-3 run over 5:09 to open a 33-22 lead with under 3:00 to play in the opening stanza
- Both teams ended the first half with 22 rebounds, with Miller and Charles Bediako both pulling down six for the Tide
- Alabama shot 10 percent (1-10) from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes
- Alabama's 28 first half points marks the third time this season that UA has failed to reach at least 30 in the opening frame (27 against Houston and 29 against Tennessee)
- Arkansas' 37-28 lead is the largest halftime deficit that Alabama has faced inside Coleman Coliseum this season
- Alabama came out of the break with an 11-5 run to pull within three, 42-39, with 16:49 remaining
- Jahvon Quinerly (5) and Brandon Miller (4) combined for nine of the Tide's first 13 points of the period, both starting out the half making 2-of-3 from the field
- The Tide took its first lead of the half with 14:01 to play, 47-46. After shooting just 33 percent in the opening half, Alabama shot 60 percent over the opening six minutes of the second stanza
- Alabama went on a 15-0 run to establish a, 55-46 lead with 10:26 remaining, with the Tide's defense holding the Razorbacks scoreless for 5:15
- The Tide dominated the boards, outrebounding the Razorbacks 26-15 in the second stanza
- Miller (17), Quinerly (12) and Mark Sears (11) combined for 40 of UA's 58 points in the second half
- Alabama dominated the points in the paint, outscoring the Hogs 34-22
- UA's bench outscored Arkansas' 21-12 in the second half
- The Crimson Tide dished out nine second-half assists, led by seven from Quinerly
- Alabama shot 55 percent (19-of-34) from the field in the second stanza, while holding Arkansas to 42 percent (15-35)
- Alabama's 58 second half points ties the season high for points in the second half since UA matched the same total of 58 on Jan. 31 against Vanderbilt
- Alabama will return to Coleman Coliseum one final time this season on March 1 to face the Auburn Tigers
- The contest will tipoff at 6 p.m. CT and air live on ESPN2