The University of Alabama men’s basketball team saw its four-game winning streak snapped at a place that almost always gives the Crimson Tide trouble, Ole Miss.
The 78-66 loss was Alabama’s third straight on the road in SEC play, having previously fallen 76-75 at Vanderbilt and 65-46 at Georgia. The only other pure road game it played this season (at an opponent’s arena) was the 88-82 defeat at Arizona.
“They’ve been a hot team at home this year,” Coach Avery Johnson said in a release. “I thought we played lethargic throughout most of the game and they had a lot to do with that. We had a stretch where we came back in the first half and a little bit in the second half, but we couldn’t sustain anything.”
For the first time this season, Alabama lost when having an edge in rebounds (36-35). It had also grabbed 16 offensive boards.
Alabama 13-7 (5-3) will host No. 12 Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday (2:15 ET, ESPN). The Sooners knocked off No. 5 Kansas on Tuesday night.
Here are three things that stood out:
1. At times Alabama looked good, other times not so much
It was a game of streaks with Alabama holding Ole Miss scoreless for 6:34 during the first half, when it went on an 18-0 run. When it got aggressive defensively at the start of the second half Alabama enjoyed a 9-0 stretch to cut the deficit to 43-42.
However, Ole Miss (11-9, 4-4 SEC) countered the initial run with a 14-0 run of its own to retake the lead and outscored Alabama 23-4 over the final 6:10 in the first half.
2. Ole Miss is really, really tough to beat at home.
The Rebels 4-0 in SEC home games this season, having already defeated South Carolina, Mississippi State and Florida at The Pavilion. Alabama has lost six straight at Ole Miss.
The home team shot 50 percent from the field, with senior guard Deandre Burnett leading all scorers with 24 points.
Ole Miss was 18-for-24 from the free-throw line. Alabama was 10-of-14.
3. Collin Sexton wasn’t 100 percent
The freshman guard was rusty after missing a pair of games due to an abdominal injury, and was 2-for-13 from the field. He obviously hadn’t practiced much and the offensive ball movement slowed considerably when he was in the game.
Ole Miss fans responded by chanting “over-rated” when Sexton was at the free-throw line.
On the plus side in terms of injuries, junior forward Donta Hall (wrist) threw down a pair of monster dunks in the second half en route to having a team-high 14 points and seven rebounds.
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