Jan. 8, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers guard Earnest Ross (33) shoots during the second half against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mizzou Arena. Missouri won 84-68. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Basketball: Tide Falls To No. 10 Missouri 84-68 In SEC Opener

Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama had a solid first half to make sure they kept up with the 10th ranked Missouri Tigers, but still fell 84-68 in Columbia. The Tide drops their first conference game of the year, going 8-6 overall and Missouri improves to 12-2 and secured their first SEC conference win as a SEC member.

Alabama had a comparatively good first half. They started off down 15-5 early, but went on a 12-0 run to take the lead. They finished off the half down 4 to Missouri 40-36. Over half of Alabama’s 1st half points were coincidentally scored by the Kansas City, MO native Trevor Releford with 19 points . He finished the night leading all scorers with 26.

It was the second half where everything unravelled for the Tide and Missouri started to roll. It was close for the first 10 minutes of the half before MissourI jumped out on a 7-0 run and Alabama never fully regained control from there. Things got ugly late when Missouri just cruised from there off poor shooting from the Tide.

The Crimson Tide finished the night with 44% percentage from the field. Rodney Cooper led the bench for the night with 11 points and led the teams with 7 rebounds. Alabama was 30% from the field while Missouri hit 9 of 15 to go 60%.

Missouri finished the night with 56% field goal percentage led by 5 players who scored in the double digits and by Jabari Brown who scored 22. Lawrence Bowers was 6 for 8 from the field before he was pulled late second half for an apparent injury to his right knee.

The score doesn’t reflect the game’s actual storyline, as this game was very close throughout and Alabama hung tough with a 10th ranked Missouri, which hopefully is a good sign of improvement after a rough non-conference season.

Missouri continues it’s first SEC conference schedule when they travel to Ole Miss Saturday night. Alabama gets a very solid 8-4 Tennessee on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Tip is at 12:00 noon CT and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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