After elation, stagnation.
The University of Alabama basketball team followed up a big Saturday win with a flat performance at a vital time, dropping a home game to a slumping Missouri team, 69-60.
The loss dropped the Crimson Tide to 14-8 overall, 5-4 in SEC play and sent UA into a difficult February schedule with a tough task if it wants to rejoin the league leaders.
The Crimson Tide made just 17 of its 48 shots in the game and was outrebounded 37-27.
“We pretty much got punked,” Crimson Tide guard Dazon Ingram said.
“We didn’t have enough guys looking to make plays when they were open,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. “We turned down shots. We got stuck too much on offense. We played like we were entitled.
“We started the game off sluggish. We played like we wanted (Missouri) to give us something, and that’s not the m.o. of this team.
“Now we’ve got to go on the road and get some of these games back that we lost in conference play.”
Despite offensive struggles, Alabama had a chance in the final four minutes, stringing together five straight stops on the defensive end with Missouri leading by seven points, 65-58. But the Crimson Tide made just one of 10 shots down the stretch.
The sluggish start that Johnson warned against early in the week happened nonetheless. Missouri hit eight of its first 12 shots and the Crimson Tide had more turnovers (eight) than field goals (seven) after the first 15 minutes of play. By that point, the Tigers had built their largest lead,31-19.
Collin Sexton provided a spark for Alabama on both ends, though, triggering a 14-4 closing run that got the Crimson Tide back into the game by whittling Missouri’s halftime advantage to 35-33.
Alabama pulled even on three occasions in the second half, tying the game at 44-44 on a Sexton 3-pointer with 13:12 to play. But Missouri’s Kassius Robertson answered with a 3-pointer from in front of the Missouri bench as the shot clock wound down, and the Tigers never trailed again.
Sexton led all scorers with 23 points but Ingram was the only Alabama player in double figures, scoring 10 points.
Robertson led Missouri (14-8, 4-5 SEC) with 22 points, including 4-of-8 3-pointers. Jontay Porter added 13 points off the bench, and 6-foot-1 reserve guard Jordan Geist added five points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Alabama (14-8, 5-4 SEC) will travel to No. 23 Florida on Saturday.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225