During the first half Wednesday night in Fayetteville, the Alabama Basketball game plan was matched by the Arkansas game plan. With solid defense being the norm for both teams, the game was tied 33-33 at halftime.
Mark Sears carried the Alabama Crimson Tide in first-half scoring, with 12 points. The Tide’s second-leading first-half scorer was Rylan Griffen with five points. At the half, Crimson Tide offensive star, Brandon Miller had zero points because the Arkansas defense never allowed Miller to take a shot.
Miller started getting shots in the second half while the Crimson Tide determinedly built a 62-50 lead at the 9:14 mark. Two spurts, one by Noah Clowney and one by Mark Sears were pivotal in building the double-digit lead. At the 13:32 mark, a Ricky Council jumper cut the Alabama lead to 49-48.
Shortly afterward, in a 33-second span, Noah Clowney scored and was fouled. He converted the three-point play. Only a few seconds later, Clowney drained a three to put the Tide up seven, 55-48.
From 11:40 to the 9:14 mark, Mark Sears scored all the Tide’s points, a layup, a three, and two free throws to make the Alabama lead 62-50. Arkansas answered with a six-point run to cut the Tide lead to 62-56.
Alabama Basketball – Three, three, three, and done for the Hogs
Arkansas trailed by two, 65-63 at 4:54. What came next was an Alabama Basketball ‘three-and-done’ that slammed the Bud Walton doors in the Razoebacks’ faces. At 4:32, Noah Clowney made a three from the corner, in front of the Alabama bench. At 4:04, Brandon Miller made a three and at 3:43 he made another one. Boom, boom, boom and the Tide’s knockout punch did in the Hogs. The scoring run only ended after two Charles Bediako layups. A stunned Bud Walton crowd turned sullen.
Nate Oats deserves credit for second-half offensive adjustments. The threes made by Clowney and Miller all came from well-designed offensive sets.
Oats complimented his team after the win, saying,
That’s a tough road win. Our guys showed that they’ve got some toughness, some character, some grit, can handle some runs and still stay in there. After we beat Houston at Houston, I think guys had some confidence that we could win anywhere. I think we snapped a 17-game home winning streak. I think it’s been 30 years since they lost to a ranked team as a ranked team. So there’s a lot of things that hadn’t been done in this building for a while that guys did well.
Until Wednesday night, Alabama had not won at Bud Walton since 2012; with five consecutive Crimson Tide losses.
In other SEC Wednesday night action, Texas A&M beat Missouri 82-64, and Georgia beat Mississippi State, 58-50.