Alabama basketball: Tennessee takes a thumping in T-Town

TUSCALOOSA, AL - JANUARY 27: Herbert Jones
TUSCALOOSA, AL - JANUARY 27: Herbert Jones /

Fresh from beating the Cats in Lexington, the Vols were cruising to a high NCAA seed. Alabama basketball thrashed No. 15 Tennessee in Tuscaloosa, 78-50.

Alabama basketball totally dominated the Tennessee Volunteers Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. The 78-50 win was the largest margin of victory for the Tide over the Vols in Coleman Coliseum history.

The game was so one-sided the outcome was clear for most of the second half. Alabama basketball went up by 18 points on a Dazon Ingram layup with 16:39 left to play. The closest the Vols got from that point was a 16 point deficit. Alabama basketball was up by 28 at the 5:24 mark. The remainder of the game focused on draining the clock and rooting for walk-on Tyler Barnes to score. In the only blemish on the night, Barnes missed two free throws in his only scoring attempt.

Tennessee had been winning games by dominating teams defensively. All the defensive domination Saturday was done by the Crimson Tide. The Vols were held to 28 percent shooting. The Tide shot 57 percent from the field in the win and outrebounded the Vols 40-35.

Earlier in the week, Avery Johnson said,

"We talk about ‘Buckle Up,’ and wanting to play fast but those are just words. To play fast, you’ve got to run fast, and to run fast, you’ve got to make good decisions with the basketball"

Tide flips assist-to-turnover stat

Going into the game, Alabama basketball was last among SEC schools in assist to turnover margin at .89 assists for every turnover. That stat placed the Tide at No. 279 out of 351 division one teams. Tennessee led the SEC with a 1.35 assists to turnover ratio. Saturday night, the Tide had 15 assists and just 11 turnovers for an average of 1.36.

Donta Hall was the finishing end of many of those assists. He had 17 points on 8-for10 shooting while adding a team-high 11 rebounds. Collin Sexton added 16 and John Petty 14 points for the Tide. Sexton also had five rebounds.

Speaking about his team’s performance, Avery said after the game,

"I saw a level of concentration, tenacity and hunger — unafraid to make mistakes. The focus was there. You could see it all during the timeouts. We were ready to play"

Avery knows too well his team can fall flat in any game. In the 16-9 season, the Tide is 5-1 against ranked teams and 11-8 against unranked teams. There is much basketball left and consistency must be found. Asked about his team’s NCAA tournament prospects, check out Avery’s response in the tweet below.

Avery is honest and direct. He is also gracious, saying the Tide did not “catch the Vols on their best day.”

Next: Feb. 9th NCAA Tourney Bracket Watch

We will update our ‘Bracket Watch’ on Monday. Until then we can add, based on, the Tide’s RPI jumped up to 34 after the Tennessee win. The Tide will play LSU Tuesday in Tuscaloosa, followed by Kentucky and Auburn road games.