A promising first half for the Alabama Crimson Tide (8–9, 2–2 SEC) was nothing more than that on Saturday afternoon against the Missouri Tigers (14–3, 2–2 SEC) in Columbia, Mo.
The Tide matched-up fairly well against the Tigers in the first 20 minutes, but all but imploded in the second half to lose their second conference match-up in three games.
Freshman forward Shannon Hale led the way for Alabama in a very impressive manor in the first half. He finished as the leading scorer for the Tide despite only scoring a handful of points in the second half. Hale finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Retin Obasohan added 11 points and 2 blocks in 38 minutes of play.
Levi Randolph also finished with 10 points on 3-of–11 shooting. Freshman forward Jimmie Taylor saw increased playing time after Carl Engstrom exited the game after playing just 3 minutes from the starting lineup.
Alabama’s leading scorer, Trevor Releford, only finished with 10 points on just 4-of–16 shooting in his return to his home state of Missouri.
Saturday’s game was a tale of two halves. Although the Tide went into the locker room down, it was only by a manageable 31–30 deficit. Missouri went on to score 37 points in the second half as Alabama’s offense stalled.
Missouri guard Jabari Brown tied a career-high with 24 points on an impressive 7-of–9 performance. Brown seemingly took control of the game for the Tigers in the second half. Guards Jordan Clarkson and Earnest Ross contributed for a big way for the Tigers as well. They finished with 16 and 12 points respectively.
Ross, an Auburn transfer is no stranger to facing the Tide. He is now a redshirt senior for the Tigers and is averaging 14 points-per-game this season.
Offensive efficiency proved to be the difference maker for Missouri down the stretch. Although Alabama didn’t shoot well in the first half, they were able to force several turnovers and limit Missouri’s shot attempts with an aggressive defensive attack.
The Tide finished an abysmal 14-of–48 from the field (29.2 percent) and just 5-for–20 from 3-point range (25 percent). Although Alabama has never been known for its shooting touch, the Tide has shown a bit of improvement this season.
That was all but lost on Saturday afternoon in Mizzou Arena.
Saturday’s loss pushes Alabama to 0–7 away from Coleman Coliseum this season and is the Tide’s tenth-straight loss on the road dating back to last season.
Missouri will continue SEC play on January 21 against the LSU Tigers (10–5, 1–2 SEC) in Baton Rouge.
The Crimson Tide will return to the friendly confines of Coleman Coliseum to face the seventh-ranked Florida Gators (14–2, 3–0 SEC) on January 23.
Tip-off for Thursday night’s game will be at 6 pm CT. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN2 and via the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage, as always, will be provided by your local CTSN affiliate.
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