No. 4 Alabama uses late runs to put away No. 15 Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — No. 4 Alabama went on a 16-4 run midway through the second half and an 11-0 run late to beat No. 15 Arkansas, 84-69, on Wednesday and stay unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference.
The Crimson Tide (14-2, 4-0 SEC) made 5 of 6 goals during the stretch in the middle of the second half, while Arkansas was just 1 of 7 during Alabama’s run as a tie game turned into a 12-point Alabama lead.
Arkansas (12-4, 1-3) pulled within two points with 4:30 left after making five straight shots from the floor to close the gap. Alabama followed with 3-pointers on each of its next three possessions, including one by Brandon Miller, to sap the home crowd and rebuild the lead to double digits
Alabama struggled during the period when its best player did, too. Miller, who entered as the top scorer in the SEC averaging 18.1 points per game, was without a shot attempt through the first half and the Crimson Tide were tied at the break.
Mark Sears did most of the Crimson Tide’s offensive damage early and plenty late as he scored a game-high 24 points. Noah Clowney added 15 and Sears finished with 14 points.
Arkansas had four players in double figures as Devonte Davis and Jalen Graham led with 16 apiece, but shooting was the curse as the Razorbacks were just 2 of 10 from 3-point range against Alabama’s 9-of-20 game from deep.
Alabama: Alabama looked the part of a No. 1-seed when the NCAA Tournament rolls around, showing a clear edge for a bulk of the game and using runs when things were close.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks started SEC play 0-3 last year before reeling off eight straight in league play en route to the Elite Eight. But Arkansas’ injuries and shifting substitution patterns have given 2023 a different feel.
Alabama: Hosts LSU on Saturday
Arkansas: At Vanderbilt on Saturday
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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