After leading for the first 38 minutes of the game, Alabama fell by a score of 70-65 in Bud Walton Arena to regional arch-rival Arkansas. Bama suffered a defensive lapse in the last 90 seconds of the first half that allowed the Hogs to more than cut the Bama lead in half. Arkansas then produced a better second half offensive response to win the game at home.
Among the things I liked in this game were the way our kids played under control for almost the entire game, fought hard in a tough environment, and continued to respond to almost every Arkansas scoring run. It also is refreshing to see Coach Grant switch defenses as the opposing team begins to find ways against the defense he has employed. Coach Grant's instructive shouts to his team were heard over Chris Stewart's mic throughout the game.
Arkansas had two advantages in the game. The were able to hit a few three point shots to stretch the Bama defense and they went to the charity stripe more often than the Tide with more success. After only 39 years of watching SEC basketball, I still cannot figure out what causes officials to make or not to make certain calls. In fairness the bad calls probably evened out over the game, but there were 2 or 3 no calls down the stretch that might have put Bama at the free throw line and altered the end-game for both teams.
There are no moral victories, but the Tide is playing well together and each player seems to be understanding his role on the court. If anyone had told me we would be 2-1 in league play at this point I would have been more than satisfied.
I'll see you all in Coleman Coliseum Tuesday night when the Cats come for their odd-year visit. Let's hope we can hold serve on our own court.