Alabama Men’s Basketball Falls at Ole Miss, 78-66
The Alabama men’s basketball team fell to Ole Miss, 78-66, Tuesday night at The Pavilion. The Crimson Tide (13-7, 5-3 SEC) went on an 18-0 run midway through the first half but could not hold on, as the Rebels (11-9, 4-4 SEC) responded by ending the half with a 23-4 run and never looked back.
“We didn’t get off to a good start and recently we have been getting off to good starts,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “You have to give them credit. Coach (Andy) Kennedy did a great job with his team. They’ve been a hot team at home this year. 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.”
Junior Donta Hall led the Alabama offense with 14 points, shooting 6-of-7 from the floor, while pulling down seven rebounds. Sophomore Dazon Ingram also reached double figures with 10 points, while adding a team high of eight rebounds and five assists.
Ole Miss started the contest hot, hitting six of its first seven shots to take an early 18-9 lead at the 13:50 mark. However, the Crimson Tide would take control offensively, knocking down three unanswered field goals to knot the score at 18 apiece at the 9:55 mark. After a timeout, the Alabama offense continued to find its rhythm, exploding out to a 27-18 lead thanks to a huge 18-0 run over a span of 5:31.
Momentum quickly shifted as Ole Miss regained the lead, 32-27, after a 14-0 spurt over the next 2:22. The Rebels would continue the hot shooting, ending the half on a 23-4 run over the final 6:14 to take a 41-31 lead into the locker room.
Alabama started the second half on a roll, cutting the Rebels’ lead to 43-42, using a 9-0 run, capped by a three-pointer by freshman Alex Reese, who finished the game with eight points and four rebounds off the bench. However, Ole Miss regained its double-digit lead, connecting on nine of its next 10 field goal attempts to take a 66-54 advantage with 5:58 remaining.
Alabama was able to cut the lead to 67-59 after a layup by freshman Collin Sexton, who saw his first action after missing the previous two contests with an injury, but the Rebels continued to knock down baskets, hitting five of its next seven to put the game out of reach.
The Rebels shot 54.5 percent from the field in the second half (12-of-22) including a 12-of-17 performance from the charity stripe, while holding Alabama to just 12-of-32 shooting in the second stanza.
The Crimson Tide outrebounded the Rebels, 36-35, marking the first time all season Alabama has lost a game when it outrebounds the opposition (9-1). The Tide also finished with 17 assists on 25 made baskets, while its bench outscored Ole Miss’ reserves, 33-18.
Deandre Burnett led all scorers with a season high of 24 points, while Terence Davis and Markel Crawford also contributed 15 points apiece for the Rebels.
Alabama will return to Coleman Coliseum this Saturday to face No. 12 Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Tipoff is set at 1:15 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN.