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Alabama Drops 87-74 Decision to No. 4/4 Arizona at Hall of Fame Series in Phoenix

PHOENIX – The Alabama men’s basketball team fell to No. 4/4 Arizona, 87-74, Wednesday night in the Hall of Fame Series contest which was played at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.


Grant Nelson paced the Crimson Tide (6-5) with 17 points while Sam Walters added 15 off the bench. Mark Sears collected 12 points, six steals and six rebounds while Aaron Estrada had 11 points and a team-leading six assists in the loss.


Wednesday night’s contest marked the Tide’s third consecutive game against an AP top-10 opponent. Alabama began the stretch by playing then-No. 2 Purdue (lost 92-86) on Dec. 9 followed by taking on then-No. 8 Creighton (lost 85-82) last Saturday.


Oumar Ballo led the Wildcats (9-1) with 16 points and 12 rebounds to top four Arizona players in double figures.


Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments

“Another good game against a quality team. We just weren’t good enough. I thought we played pretty well in the first half. It was a big point of emphasis for us to keep them off the free throw line and the rebounding battle. In the first half, we did a good job of both things. In the second half, they shoot 27 free throws and we shoot eight, so we didn’t do a good job of keeping them off the line. We didn’t do a good job of keeping them off the glass either. It didn’t help that we didn’t shoot the ball well and turned the ball over too much. I thought their physicality bothered us. They are a tough, physical team. We have to be more mentally tough when stuff is not going on our way and we are missing shots. We have get back and play defense.”


Team Stats

  • It marked the first time that Alabama has played three consecutive top-10 opponents in non-conference action
  • Alabama was outrebounded, 48-38, on the night and falls to 0-3 this season when losing the battle of the boards
  • The Tide struggled shooting the ball from deep, hitting just 8-40 (20 percent) from beyond the arc
  • Alabama led for 21:52 of the contest while Arizona only held the lead for 13:22
  • Arizona owned a 22-4 edge in fast break points
  • The contest featured nine ties and seven lead changes throughout

First Half

  • Alabama began the game on a 9-0 run and held Arizona without a field goal until the 14:42 mark
  • The Crimson Tide went on to hold the lead for all but 1:49 of the half but it was the Wildcats that took a 41-40 lead into the locker room
  • Sam Walters led UA with 12 points with Mark Sears and Aaron Estrada adding seven apiece
  • Alabama struggled from the floor, hitting just three three-pointers (3-22) and shooting 31 percent (11-35) in the opening stanza

Second Half

  • After an opening bucket by Arizona, the Tide went on a 10-0 run thanks in large part to a pair of three-pointers from Grant Nelson to give UA a seven-point lead, 50-43, with 16:26 left to play
  • The Wildcats went on a 21-4 run, including scoring 14-straight points, over the next 8:17 to take control of the contest at 64-54 with just over eight minutes remaining
  • Arizona’s aggressiveness on the offensive end resulted in the Wildcats going 19-27 from the charity stripe in the second stanza while the Tide connected on just 7-8 in comparison

Up Next

  • Alabama returns to action Saturday afternoon when it hosts Eastern Kentucky inside Coleman Coliseum
  • Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.



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