Alabama fails to find any spark in loss to MissouriBy Matthew Speakman | 01/31/2018 10:58pm
Collin Sexton scored 23 points in a loss to Missouri.
If anyone was wondering if Alabama would experience a hangover against Missouri, they got their answer.
Four days removed from one of the biggest wins in recent program history, a sluggish Alabama team had no energy. The Crimson Tide could not get anything going and lost to the Tigers at home, 69-60.
“We started the game the game off like we wanted someone to give us something,” head coach Avery Johnson said. “That’s normally not the m-o of our team.”
Alabama gave the fans little to cheer about after blowing the roof off of Coleman Coliseum against Oklahoma. Inconsistency has defined Alabama’s season thus far. Now, it finds itself at 14-8 overall and 5-4 in SEC play.
It was only the second home loss of the season thus far. In those two losses, Alabama scored less than 65 points. The team averages 74 points per game.
“I just feel like we didn’t come ready to play tonight,” guard Dazon Ingram said. “They came out from the jump and was more physical than we were. We pretty much got punked.”
The lack of energy showed on the offensive end right from the beginning. For most of the night, Alabama struggled to create any shots like it did in past wins.
Even when Alabama created open shots none of them fell. The Crimson Tide connected on only 17 of its 48 field goal attempts. Alabama only made six shots in the second half.
The flow on offense seemed inexistent. Possessions were defined by isolation plays that ended in missed shots.
“We were very stagnant since we couldn’t score in transition,” guard Collin Sexton said. “Once one person had the ball, everyone was just standing around chilling and waiting for someone to make a move.”
Missouri forced Alabama to play half court offense. Alabama likes to run. The team turns missed shots into fast break points.
Every time Alabama tried to push the tempo, Missouri had multiple defenders back.
“They did a good job of getting back and keeping us out of transition,” Ingram said. “Like Coach Avery (Johnson) says, if we can’t score in the first five seconds, we need to be able to score in the last 25.”
Sexton was the only source of consistent offense for Alabama. He scored 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting overall and 3-of-7 shooting from three-point range.
Sexton was one of two players to score in double digits for his team. Ingram scored 10 points.
“I was trying to attack and kick the ball so we could get some wide-open shots,” Sexton said. “…I was just trying to throw it out so my teammates could get a wide-open shot or kick a drive and kick.”
Sexton, by himself, managed to make 6-of-10 from the free throw line. Overall, Alabama did not take advantage of its free throw opportunities.
Alabama shot 17 more free throws than Missouri did. Alabama managed to only make 21 of its 32 free throw attempts from the game.
When a team gets to the line, it has to make it count. Alabama did not do that against Missouri.
“When we got in the bonus early in the second half, we didn’t make them pay enough,” Johnson said.
Alabama will go back to the drawing board and turn its focus to a road trip against Florida. That game will tip off at 3 p.m.