In just their second game in which they were ranked No. 2 in the nation, Alabama lost to Oklahoma 93-69 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Since getting the No. 2 ranking, Alabama has played its worst basketball of the season. Earlier in the week, Alabama struggled with Mississippi State but made a comeback and went out with a win. On Saturday, the Crimson Tide weren’t as successful as they dug themselves into a huge hole and never had an answer against the Sooners.
Once again, Alabama started slow and played terribly on both offense and defense of the court. The Crimson Tide allowed a season-high 50 first-half points on 68 percent shooting for the Sooners. Alabama’s offense wasn’t much better as they were held at just 33 points on 33 percent shooting in the first half.
Oklahoma’s Grant Sherfield lit the Alabama defense all game and got every shot he wanted without a response from the Crimson Tide. Sherfield finished the season with a season-high 30 points, with 18 of his 30 points coming in the big first half for the Sooners.
Alabama finished the game with five players in double figures, led by a couple of guys who provided a little spark off the bench. Freshman Rylan Griffen led all Alabama scorers with 15 points and added seven rebounds. Jahvon Quinerly also came off the bench, supplying the Alabama offense with 12 points.
On Saturday, Oklahoma might not have been the more talented team on the floor, but it was the better team, beating Alabama in categories where the Crimson Tide typically dominates the opposing team. The Sooners were more physical than the Tide, and it showed. They won the rebound fight 36-35 and points in the Paint 42-38, two categories that have been a cornerstone of Alabama’s success this season. Alabama not only lost the internal struggle, but also the external struggle. Oklahoma was able to hit nine of his 13 three-pointers for a staggering 69%, while Alabama was limited to just six three-pointers for just 27% behind the arc on 22 attempts.
While there weren’t many positives to take away from Saturday’s game, Alabama still remains undefeated in the SEC with Oklahoma not officially joining the SEC until 2024 at the earliest.
Next up for Alabama is a home game against Vanderbilt on Tuesday, January 31, the teams’ second meeting of the season in which Alabama won their first meeting in Vanderbilt 78-66.
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