The Alabama Crimson Tide (9–12, 3–5 SEC) dropped its second straight game in blowout fashion, this time to the Tennessee Volunteers (14–7, 5–3 SEC) at home on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide looked a bit hungover from Thursday night’s loss to Auburn in the first half. Alabama once again was held scoreless for the first couple minutes and went down by a sizable margin.
The Tide came out firing to start the second half and nearly erased a seven-point deficit, but the Volunteers quickly responded and pushed the lead back up to double-digits.
Alabama had no answer for Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes and Jordan McRae. The two players combined for 48 points and scored almost at will against the Tide’s defense.
Junior forward Jarnell Stokes notched a double-double with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Senior guard Jordan McRae led all scorers with 26 points and four assists. McRae was an efficient 8-for–12 from the field.
Anthony Grant didn’t seem to have any answers for Jarnell Stokes on the low block. He once again gave Carl Engstrom the starting nod, but quickly pulled him after he picked up his first foul. Nick Jacobs and Jimmie Taylor both attempted to slow Stokes down, but simply couldn’t.
Trevor Releford quietly finished with 23 points, six assists and three rebounds. The senior leader for the Tide was 7-for–15 from the field and 7-for–8 from the free throw line.
Junior forward Nick Jacobs was the only other Alabama player to finish in double-figures. Jacobs was very effective on the offensive side of the ball during his time on the court. He scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in just 16 minutes on the floor.
Junior guard Levi Randolph played 31 minutes off the bench, but only added four points on the night. He seemed hesitant to shoot all night, but was able to provide some defensive help on Tennessee’s Jordan McRae.
Alabama’s road to recovery won’t get any easier as the Tide will hit the road for five out of the next seven games. The Crimson Tide’s tough February schedule includes road trips to play the Arkansas Razorbacks (13–8, 2–6 SEC), number three-ranked Florida Gators (19–2, 8–0 SEC) and a home game against the Missouri Tigers (16–5, 4–4 SEC).
Saturday night’s loss marks Alabama’s worst home loss since the 2007–2008 season. The Tide lost to Clemson 87–61 on Jan. 1, 2008. Many will recall that the 2007–2008 season was Mark Gottfried’s final season as head coach of the Crimson Tide.
The Crimson Tide will travel to Bud Walton Arena to face the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Television coverage will be provided by your local SEC TV affiliate. Radio coverage, as always, will be provided by your local CTSN affiliate.
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