The Alabama Crimson Tide (13–18, 7–11 SEC) underclassmen came into Saturday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks (21–10, 10–8 SEC) aiming to send seniors Trevor Releford and Isiah Wilson out on top, and they didn’t disappoint.
The Crimson Tide nearly ran the Razorbacks out of the gym in an 85–58 win that got everyone involved.
All ten of Alabama’s players saw action against the Razorbacks and all ten put points on the board.
Senior guard Trevor Releford led all scorers with 24 points, four assists and three steals in his final game at Coleman Coliseum. Fellow senior Isiah Wilson finished with five points and two rebounds on the afternoon. Wilson, a walk-on, finished 2-for–4 from the field in his first career start for the Crimson Tide.
Freshman forward Shannon Hale continued his tear in SEC play with 18 points, three rebounds and two assists. Freshman forward Jimmie Taylor also had a solid game with 10 points and six rebounds on 5-for–5 shooting.
Taylor saw limited action in the second half after picking up two early fouls and eventually fouled out.
Junior forward Carl Engstrom had a career night on the boards. Engstrom finished with a career-high seven rebounds, all coming in the first half.
Alabama entered the locker room with a 39–16 lead and didn’t look back.
Arkansas struggled mightily down the stretch from the offensive side. The Razorbacks finished 31 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range.
Arkansas junior guard Rashad Madden led the way for the Razorbacks with 19 points and two rebounds. Freshman forward Bobby Portis was the only other Arkansas player in double-figures with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists.
The Razorbacks came into Coleman Coliseum extremely hot after hanging 110 points on Ole Miss on March 5, but Mike Anderson’s team had no answer for Alabama’s defensive attack on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide forced 15 turnovers and out-rebounded Arkansas 41–25.
The win not only gives Alabama some much needed confidence heading to Atlanta, but also allowed the Tide to move to the No. 10 seed in the SEC Tournament. This ensures that the Crimson Tide won’t have to play on Wednesday.
Alabama will likely play the No. 7 seed Missouri Tigers (21–10, 9–9 SEC) on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Georgia Dome.
The Tigers lost a big game to the Tennessee Volunteers (20–11, 11–7 SEC) 72–45 on Saturday.
Alabama and Missouri split their two meetings this season. The Tigers took the first match-up 68–47 in Columbia, Mo., but the Crimson Tide won 80–73 on Feb. 22 in Coleman Coliseum.
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