The Alabama men’s basketball team went on a 21-2 run and limited Tennessee to just 2-of-19 shooting in the final 12:34, closing out the Volunteers, 56-38, on Saturday afternoon inside Thompson-Boiling Arena. With the win, Alabama moves to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in the SEC, and has now won six consecutive contests.
The win snapped a 16-game road losing streak and a 12-game SEC road losing streak for the Crimson Tide. The last win for UA in a road SEC contest came on Feb. 12, 2013, when Alabama came out victorious in Athens over the Georgia Bulldogs, 52-45. Today’s game marks the first time Alabama has held an SEC opponent to less than 40 points since Jan. 27, 2010, when UA took down LSU, 57-38.
The Crimson Tide and Vols battled for much of the first half, with Alabama holding a six-point lead at 25-19 going into the media timeout at the 3:32 mark. UA led by as many as eight in the first half and went to the break with a 29-24 lead thanks to a last-second dunk by sophomore Jimmie Taylor. The Tide produced nine turnovers in the half and scored 12 of its 29 off those takeaways through 20 minutes.
Tennessee came out hot following the halftime rest period, scoring 13 of the first 21 points coming back from the break, including an 8-1 run that set UT ahead 32-30. Alabama weathered the run, however, and regained the lead, 33-32, going into the 16-minute break. Coming back from the TV timeout, Alabama committed three consecutive turnovers which Tennessee was able to capitalize on to take a 36-35 lead at the 13:39 mark. Following the lead change, the Crimson Tide immediately surged back, going on a 21-2 run to drown out the Vols and claim the 56-38 victory.
The Alabama defense stifled UT in the closing minutes, limiting the Vols to just 2-of-19 shooting over the final 12:34 of the game. In the second half, Alabama limited Tennessee to just 14 points on 5-of-24 shooting and held the Vols to 31.1 percent shooting for the entire game.
The Crimson Tide had three players score in double-digits, led by Rodney Cooper’s 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 3-of-5 from three-point range. Ricky Tarrant added 14 points, and Jimmie Taylor put up 13 on 5-of-5 from the field to round out the double-digit efforts for UA.
Alabama heads east to Columbia to take on South Carolina in a Tuesday contest on Jan. 13. The Crimson Tide and the Gamecocks tip off at 8 p.m. CT with the game airing live on ESPNU.