Jan. 8, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Alabama men's basketball team fell to No. 10 Missouri, 84-68 Tuesday night in Columbia, Mo., in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Alabama goes to 8-6 on the season and 0-1 in SEC play, while Missouri is now 12-2 overall, 1-0 in the SEC.
"I thought Missouri came out in the first half and really set the tone for the game," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "I was proud of our guys the way we fought back and took the lead. The thing we talked about at halftime was the need to defend and rebound. We did a good job on the glass but didn't do a good job defensively in the second half."
The score stayed close for a majority of the game, including just a four-point deficit for the Crimson Tide at the half, before Missouri closed out the final of minutes of the game on a 12-4 run, which put the final margin into double figures.
Missouri outscored the Tide 40-28 in the paint and 27-15 from beyond the three-point arc.
"We couldn't get stops and that was the story of the second half," Grant said. "We needed our defense to hold for us tonight. Whether it was the press, transition, halfcourt; we did not defend like we needed to defend against an opponent like Missouri on the road in order to get a win."
Junior guard Trevor Releford, who went over 1,000-career points with a career-high 26, led both the Tide and the game in scoring. Releford, now with 1,004 points, is the 46th player in Alabama history to top 1,000 career-points. Sophomore guard Rodney Cooper and freshman forward Devonta Pollard both scored in double digits, chipping in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Tide returns to Tuscaloosa to open its home SEC schedule this Saturday against Tennessee. The game will get underway at noon in Coleman Coliseum and will air on ESPN2.