Alabama Continues Struggle in SEC Play, Falls to Kentucky
Alabama basketball moves to 17-10 (7-7 SEC) after losing to Kentucky on the road in their second regular-season meeting, 90-81.
In the last five minutes before halftime, Alabama was nursing a 12-point lead until a 13-0 scoring run from the Wildcats left Kentucky with a 47-46 lead in the locker room.
As with the rest of the season, they struggled to get to the free-throw line early which lead to a 15-5 free throw attempt differential for Kentucky in the first half.
Senior guard Keon Ellis got his name in the ring early as Kentucky tried to weather the typical Alabama first-half open shooting session. The Wildcats weren't really able to slow him down, even at home, and let Ellis get to 17 points and three rebounds in the first 20 minutes alone.
The difference in Alabama's second meeting of the year with Kentucky came from the shot confidence the Wildcats started gaining in the final few minutes of the first.
They briefly regained a one-point lead in the second half but would lose it to a three-pointer from Kentucky's Kellan Grady on the next possession.
Alabama got dominated in the paint 36-24 and had a shot of overcoming the gap with 41% from 3-PT in the first half. However, the production from deep fizzled in the final 20 minutes with a 28% 3-PT outing only resulting in 5-of-18 as a team.
The scoring leader from the game is Keon Ellis who ended his outing with 28 points, five rebounds and four steals.
Another bright moment to look at from Alabama's struggle on offense from Saturday would have to be the points from non-starters. The Crimson Tide outscored their opponent 20-6 in bench points, most notably from transfer forward Noah Gurley who had 12 points and a block in 18 minutes of play.
Nate Oats and the squad will get the rest of the weekend to regroup before heading on the road again to face the Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday, a winnable game if the team regains focus.
The remainder of the season isn't necessarily an SEC gauntlet either. Alabama will get two home games with struggling South Carolina and Texas A&M squads before the end of February. The Tide's last scheduled game will take place in Baton Rouge on March 5 as it tries to sweep LSU on the year and finish the year 11-7 in conference play.
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