March 4, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Alabama men's basketball fell in its final road contest of the regular season, dropping a 55-48 decision to 25th-ranked Kentucky at Rupp Arena. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 12-18 for the year, 6-11 in SEC play, while the Wildcats move to 22-8 overall, 12-5 in SEC play.
"I thought our guys really competed tonight," head coach Anthony Grant said. "The difference in the game to me was offensive rebounding and the free throw line. Obviously, we knew coming into the game Kentucky was the best team in offensive rebounding in the country and we would have to do a great job rebounding with their size and physicality. It was an issue in both halves."
Alabama went in to the half up 28-25 behind stifling defense which held Kentucky to 6-of-24 shooting (24 percent) from the field. The Tide hit 11-of-26 (42.3 percent) from the field in the first half. The second half was a different story as Kentucky outscored Alabama 30-20.
Alabama was whistled for 19 fouls on the night, compared to Kentucky's 11. Hence, Kentucky had a big advantage on the free-throw line where they went 18-of-24 (75 percent) while UA went 7-of-11 (63.6 percent). The Wildcats also outrebounded the Tide by a wide margin of 41-27, including a 15-6 advantage on the offensive glass. That resulted in a big 18-3 edge in second-chance points. Alabama is now 4-16 when getting outrebounded.
"I thought in the first half, we had opportunities to create some separation, but their ability to rebound the basketball really affected us, and even in the second half more so," Grant said. "In the end, I thought we had chances to get stops, but we weren't able to secure rebounds and we weren't able to get some looks that we had on the offensive end to fall. I thought our guys really battled. I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win the game today."
Senior guard Trevor Releford had a game-high 13 points which gives him 31 straight games with double-digit points. Releford also had a team-high three assists. Sophomore guard Retin Obasohan had nine points and a steal. Freshman forward Shannon Hale had eight points a team-high six rebounds.
Kentucky only had one player in double-figures, as Julius Randle had a double-double featuring 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Alabama will play its final game of the regular season next Saturday when it hosts the Arkansas Razorbacks at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN3.com. The contest will also be Senior Day as guards Isiah Wilson and Trevor Releford will be recognized prior to tipoff.
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