The Alabama men's basketball team improved to 14-7 on the season and 3-4 in Southeastern Conference play with a 72-66 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday. In front of 13,145 fans at Coleman Coliseum, the Crimson Tide halts a four-game losing streak, while winning its 500th game all-time at Coleman Coliseum. Arkansas falls to 15-5 overall and 3-3 in the SEC.
Sophomore guard Trevor Releford led Alabama with a game-high 18 points, while junior guard Andrew Steele scored a career-high 11 points, to go along with a career-high six assists and six rebounds. Senior forward JaMychal Green added 14 points, including 10 in the second half, and added a game-high eight rebounds. Junior forward Tony Mitchell chipped in 11 points as the Crimson Tide place four players in double-digits scoring.
"It's always good to win, our guys certainly needed it," Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said. "They came in with great poise and figured out, from a defensive standpoint, how to make us stay down a little bit. We, I thought, had success in the first half attacking and being aggressive. Their zone really slowed us down, slowed the tempo of the game down. I'm proud of our guys for finding a way, when Arkansas took the lead during the second half; our guys never lost their poise, stayed with it and found a way to come out with the win. It was good to see our guys get stops at the end of the game, come up with some big rebounds and make some free throws to close it out."
Alabama connected on 25-of-50 shots from the field, marking the seventh time this season the Crimson Tide has shot 50 percent or better in a game. Alabama notched 40 of its 72 points in the paint, while connecting on 20-of-25 free throws (80.0%), the third most the Tide has registered from the charity stripe this season.
The four players scoring in double-digits were the most this season since Alabama put five players in double digits during an 82-45 victory over Alabama A&M in the sixth game of the season on Nov. 23.
After trailing for much of the first half, Alabama outscored Arkansas 14-4 over the final 8:41 to take a 37-30 lead into halftime. The Crimson Tide took its first lead of the game, 28-26, at the 7:11 mark on a three-point basket by Releford, before finishing off the first half with a 7-1 run, with Releford accounting for all seven points.
After Arkansas came back to take the lead in the second half, the Tide trailed 56-54 with 6:59 left in the game, before unleashing a 9-0 run over a span of 4:17 to take a 63-56 lead with just over two minutes remaining. Green sparked the UA scoring burst, scoring five of the nine points during the stretch, as Alabama matched its biggest lead of the game. From there, Arkansas quickly pulled within two points before the Tide closed the game out at the free line, connecting on 7-of-8 free throws over the final stages.
Rickey Scott led Arkansas with 18 points.
The Tide will host the Mississippi Rebels in its next game on Feb. 4. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
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