The Maneater

Missouri loses ninth in a row, falls on the road to Alabama, 68-56

The Tigers have not won a true road game since Jan. 28, 2014, almost three years ago.

Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips, 1, looks to create space for an open jumper against EIU at Mizzou Arena.

Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips had 16 points and 7 assists and junior forward Russell Woods added 13, but it was not enough to secure a victory for Missouri Basketball. On Wednesday, the Tigers fell 68-56 to the Alabama Crimson Tide at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa.

The loss was Missouri’s ninth in a row dating back to Dec. 10, when the team fell 79-60 to Arizona. It also marked Mizzou’s third true road loss of the season, extending coach Kim Anderson’s Southeastern Conference road losing streak to 21. Missouri hasn’t won a true road game since Jan. 28, 2014, when the Tigers beat Arkansas 75-71, and is 0-24 in true road games under Anderson.

Freshman forward Braxton Key had 11 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists to lead the Tide, who never trailed. Alabama improved to 11-6 on the season and 4-1 in SEC play, while Missouri fell to 5-12 and 0-5 in the SEC.

The game was a tale of two halves offensively. The first half was marked by poor shooting and an inability to take care of the ball on both sides, with neither team making a field goal on consecutive possessions in the opening period. The Tide survived the first half primarily on an 8-0 advantage in points off turnovers and despite shooting an abysmal 33 percent from the field, took a 26-19 lead into the locker room.

Missouri switched to a 2-3 zone to start the second half, hoping to take advantage of Alabama’s poor outside shooting and reduce the lead Alabama had opened up in the rebounding department in the first half. This move immediately backfired, as the Tide came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, not missing a shot in the first four minutes of the second half.

After shooting 3 of 15 from three-point range in the first half, Alabama shot 6 of 12 from three-point land in the second to sink the Tigers. The Tide ultimately shot 43.4 percent from the field and controlled the pace of the game throughout.

Missouri shot the ball better than usual Wednesday, which kept the game relatively close throughout. The team shot 50 percent from the three-point line, a clip significantly better than the team’s 26.6-percent average going into the contest. However, this was partially offset by the team taking only 14 threes the whole game. The Tigers also shot 40.5 percent from the field overall, an improvement on their 39-percent seasonal average.

Woods turned in a solid performance for Mizzou, shooting a perfect 7 of 7 from the free-throw line and holding his own in the paint against a physically stronger Alabama forward corps. The Tigers also got a good game from Phillips, who had his fifth straight game scoring in double figures.

Ultimately, however, the Tigers’ inability to take care of the basketball and rebound was their undoing. Missouri turned the ball over a season-high 19 times and was outrebounded 39-31, including 14-5 in offensive rebounding.

Missouri will look to pick up its first SEC win on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 2:30 p.m. C.T. against the 11-7 Ole Miss Rebels at Mizzou Arena.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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