No. 2 Alabama once again avoided an upset, thanks to another outstanding performance from Brandon Miller, beating the Arkansas Razorbacks 86-83 Saturday for their 25th win of the season.
With the win, Alabama improves their SEC record to 15-1 and remains alone on top of the SEC standings with two more games left.
Once again, Alabama struggled in the first half and, as a result, found themselves down nine points at halftime. Arkansas limited the Tide to just 28 first half points on just 33% shooting from the floor. The Crimson Tide started off slow, missing their first seven shots, and it didn’t get much better for the first 20 minutes.
Usually a staple for Alabama’s offense, their three-point shooting was the worst it has been since the first game of the season when it shot just 10.7% from three. In the first half, Alabama was only able to hit one three out of 10 attempts. Despite the offense being more successful in the second half, the three-point shooting did not improve. Alabama did, however, double their first half production by hitting two three-pointers in the second half, finishing a pathetic three for 22 from behind the arc for a 13.6 three-point shooting percentage. With the three-point shot not going down, Alabama was forced to rely on their inside game, in which they dominated the Razorbacks in points in the paint 52-38.
Brandon Miller’s performance was not quite at the level of his 41-point outing earlier in the week, but his 24 points made for a game-high as he was the most consistent scorer for the Crimson Tide. With everyone else struggling to find their shot, Alabama put the ball in Jahvon Quinerly’s hands to provide a spark off the bench. Quinerly had success with his dribble drives to the hoop and provided Alabama with 16 points from his reserve roll.
Mark Sears, Alabama’s biggest scoring threat outside of Miller, did not have his best shooting day, missing all four of his three-point attempts and finishing just 2-of-7 from the field. Although his field goal attempts were not going down, his free throws down the stretch were essential in holding off the late run from the Razorbacks and securing Alabama’s 25th win of the season.
Next up for Alabama is another home game against Auburn on Wednesday, March 1.
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