The Alabama Crimson Tide (9–13, 3–6 SEC) dropped its third straight game Wednesday night on the road against the Arkansas Razorbacks (14–8, 3–6 SEC).
Despite a superb effort by junior forward Rodney Cooper, the Crimson Tide was unable to pull out a victory at Bud Walton Arena.
Cooper posted his second double-double of the season, finishing with 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Tide in both categories. He had the most efficient night of any Alabama player shooting an efficient 9-of–15 from the field.
Trevor Releford was the only other Tide player in double-figures with 12 points, five rebounds and one assist.
Alabama rarely succeeds when Releford is held below his season average of 18.3 points-per-game and Wednesday night’s game was no exception. Although Rodney Cooper was able to carry the Tide for most of the game, his big night was far from enough.
For the third straight game Alabama allowed an opposing player to score 25 points or more. Auburn’s Chris Densen finished with a career-high 32 points, Tennessee’s Jordan McRae had 26 and Arkansas forward Bobby Portis was the latest to go off against the Crimson Tide finishing with 35 points.
This is unusual for an Anthony Grant led defensive team. Grant’s aggressive defensive attack rarely allows for big scoring totals by a single player, but the last three games have been major exceptions.
Grant and the defense simply had no answer for Bobby Portis. The freshman was also dominate down low posting six blocks and nine rebounds. He finished an astonishing 14-for–17 from the field.
Portis was the lone bright spot for the Razorbacks on the offensive side of the ball. No other player scored in double-figures and three players were even held scoreless.
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson kept a steady rotation going throughout the game and was able to play 12 players in total.
Alabama made a steady push for the lead throughout the second half, but the Razorbacks’ 41 point explosion in the final half was the difference.
Arkansas will travel to Memorial Gym to face the Vanderbilt Commodores (13–8, 5–4 SEC) on Saturday. The Commodores notched an impressive 64–60 victory over rival Tennessee (14–8, 5–4 SEC) on Wednesday night.
Alabama make the trip to Gainesville, Fla. to face the No. 3 Florida Gators (20–2, 9–0 SEC) on Saturday.
The Tide played arguably its best game of the year against the Gators at home on January 23. Although it ended in a loss, Alabama was able to keep Florida in check and only lose by a final of 68–62.
Tip-off for Saturday’s game is slated for 11 a.m. CT. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN and via the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage, as always, will be provided by your local CTSN affiliate.
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