By Chris DePew
Feb. 23, 2017
Time and again Alabama pulled within a point of the lead but never found a way to pull ahead as J.J. Frazier scored 28 and the Georgia Bulldogs pulled out a wire-to-wire 60-55 victory at Coleman Coliseum.
What did we learn today?: Club 62 is officially closed for business. The Crimson Tide had been a perfect 13-0 when allowing 62 or fewer points, but finally had an offensive performance too putrid to overcome. Alabama opened the game shooting 2-for-15 from the floor and finished it shooting 2-for-13. In between it made just enough shots to revive hope after trailing 30-18 at the half but still wound up making just a third of its field goals, to say nothing of an unsightly 4-for-23 showing from 3-point range. With three games left before the SEC tournament, Bama would need to run the table plus add at least two wins (and probably more) in Nashville to have any hope of sneaking into the NCAA field.
What were the biggest concerns?: For the third time in four games, Alabama scored 20 points or less in the first half and finished with less than 60 points. And against UGA, the first 20 minutes were especially awful, with players standing still against a zone defense, lobbing up speculative shots and looking nothing like they were coming off an extra day of rest following a 90-point performance. Riley Norris and Corban Collins both went scoreless after scoring 15 apiece in last month’s 80-60 win in Athens. And Dazon Ingram was hampered all night by foul trouble and wasn’t around at the end of the game when Bama’s half-court offense dissolved into chaos.
What was the best part of the game?: It’s amost hard to remember that this was one of the SEC’s weakest rebounding teams last year. Bama stayed in the game by outrebounding Georgia 42-30 and for once it wasn’t Bola Olaniyan shouldering the bulk of the load. Braxton Key and Donta Hall had nine boards each, and turned their dominance inside into 16 and 11 points respectively. Olaniyan finished with eight boards, including five offensive rebounds, which were two more than the Bulldogs had as a team. Alabama wound up with 14 more shot attempts than UGA thanks to its dominance on the glass.
Who was the star?: Ar’Mond Davis shot the ball 18 times, missed three or four attempts from 30-plus feet and nobody minded much, because for a long time he was the only offense Alabama had. He made four of his team’s seven field goals in the first half and finished with 17 points and five rebounds. After dropping 15 on LSU, this easily constitutes his most effective stretch of play all year. If he could become even moderately selective when shooting, it could give Bama a badly needed spark in the closing stretch.
What’s next?: In it’s quickest turnaround since the week of Thanksgiving, Alabama hits the court Saturday night in College Station against slumping Texas A&M. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Central on ESPN2.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris
Comment now using your Facebook login!
Powered by Facebook Comments