ATHENS, Ga. | The University of Alabama men’s basketball team took care of one eventuality in a big weekend of competition against the Georgia Bulldogs.
It can’t get any worse.
The Crimson Tide came out flat and never inflated over the course of 40 minutes, trailing by 20 points at halftime and finishing with a 65-46 defeat, its sixth loss in the last 10 games.
The 46 points represented the lowest offensive output by Alabama since a 64-45 loss to Xavier in November of 2015.
Georgia coach Mark Fox said that part of his team’s motivation was to build momentum for the Bulldogs, who face Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game on Monday night.
“I damn sure wasn’t going to have that monkey around my neck, starting us off with a loss,” Fox said after the game.
Alabama, on the other, gave a performance that it would like to forget.
“Basically, it was a tale of two halves for us,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. “We were not very good defensively or offensively in the first half. We were coming off what we thought were two really good practices but didn’t show it.”
The Crimson Tide fell behind 7-2 on the game’s first three possessions, was down by double digits after the first nine minutes and faced an insurmountable 20-point deficit at halftime.
Collin Sexton was the only Alabama scorer in double figures with 23 points. Aside from Sexton’s 9-for-16 shooting from the floor, the remainder of the Alabama roster shot under 20 percent (8 of 41) from the floor.
Alabama’s offensive struggles were magnified by a poor effort from the 3-point line. The Crimson Tide made just four of its 23 3-point shots in the game.
“We came for a shoot around and made everything,” Johnson said. “But in the game, we couldn’t make any wide-open shots. I just didn’t see that confidence in some of our guys to start the game.
“We are depending on guys to make 3-point shots and we didn’t have it.”
Rounding out the litany of statistical infamy, Alabama was outrebounded 49-31 in the game.
Yante Maten of Georgia (11-3, 2-1 SEC) led all scorers with 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
The played without starting point guard Dazon Ingram, who was out with the flu. Ingram did not fly to Georgia with the team but did drive to Athens on Saturday. Upon arrival, however, Johnson said, Ingram was “too weak to go.”
“No excuses, but with Dazon out, we became a lot younger team,” Johnson said. “He’s played here (in Athens) before and won here.”
Johnson did not have an immediate estimate on Ingram’s return
“The goal right now is to get him home, let him sit out on Sunday and Monday and see how he is at the shoot-around on Tuesday,” Johnson said.
The Crimson Tide (9-6, 1-2 SEC) will host South Carolina on Tuesday night.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.