Alabama Men’s Basketball Falls to No. 24 Oregon, 65-56, Sunday Night
The Alabama men’s basketball team lost a 65-56 decision to the No. 24-ranked Oregon Ducks on Sunday night at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to an overall 4-4 record, while the Ducks improve to 8-2 and extend the nation’s fourth-longest home-winning streak to 31 games.
The Tide trailed by as many as 14 points in the contest and were down by 11 early in the second half, but rallied behind the play of sophomore forward Donta Hall, who finished the night with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and had a game-high seven rebounds and five dunks.
“We had to expend so much energy getting back in the game; we didn’t have a great first half at all,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “I mean, 11 turnovers (in the opening half), we didn’t shoot the three well and they shot the three better than us. But to our credit, we fought all the way back and gave ourselves a chance to win the game and then we got stuck there again at the end. We’ve just got to find ways to get quality shots.”
With Alabama trailing by seven, 53-46, at the 8:58 mark, an Avery Johnson Jr. layup started an 8-0 run over the next 4:46 that gave the Tide a 54-53 lead with 4:12 remaining – UA’s first lead since being ahead 5-3 a few minutes into the game. Oregon regained the lead on a Tyler Dorsey three, but Hall answered once again with another dunk to tie the game at 56-56 with 3:13 left. It was the last points of the night scored by the Tide.
Oregon’s Dylan Ennis connected on a three-pointer from the wing as the shot clock buzzer sounded to give the Ducks the lead for good. After Braxton Key missed a three on Alabama’s next possession, Oregon was able to stretch its lead on Dillon Brooks’ 15-foot jumper. Oregon connected on all four of its free throws in the final seconds to result in the final score.
“A turnover, then (Tyler) Dorsey comes down and makes a three and even (Dylan) Ennis makes a three with one second left on the shot clock with us contesting the shot,” Johnson said. “Tough break, but I’m still encouraged about some of the signs I saw from our team in a really tough place to play.”
Alabama jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game, before Oregon went on a 23-4 run over a span of 8:19 to take a 23-9 lead at the midway point of the first half. The Tide managed to cut Oregon’s lead to eight points at 31-23 going into halftime, despite 11 first half turnovers by Alabama which resulted in a 14-4 advantage in points off turnovers for the Ducks.
The Tide opened the second half by making 10 of its first 17 shots (58.8 percent) to whittle the lead down, setting up the dramatic final minutes. However, Alabama struggled throughout the night from beyond the arc, connecting on a season low 2-of-19 shots (10.5 percent) from deep. Furthermore, the Tide committed a season high 18 turnovers as the Ducks finished with a 21-12 advantage in points off turnovers.
Junior Ar’Mond Davis came off the bench to account for 10 points, while redshirt freshman Dazon Ingram finished with eight points, all of which came after intermission. Dorsey led all scorers with 19 points.
The Tide shot 41 percent from the field in the 40 minute contest, and outrebounded the Ducks, 33-27, including an 11-6 edge on the offensive glass which resulted in a 21-6 advantage in second chance points. Alabama and Oregon both had 19 points off its bench, which marked just the second time this season the Tide reserves failed to outscore its counterparts.
Alabama will be back in action on Thursday, Dec. 15, when it hosts the USC Upstate Spartans at Coleman Coliseum. The contest will tip off at 7 p.m. CT and be televised on SEC Network+.