Alabama men’s basketball played its fourth game of the SEC season on Wednesday night and, for the second time, faced a top-25 ranked conference opponent on the road.
The No. 4 Tide squared off against the No. 15 Arkansas at 6 p.m. CT at Fayetteville’s Bud Walton Arena, Alabama’s first trip to the venue since losing in February 2021.
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These were the highlights:
Alabama 84, Arkansas 69 (final): Three 3-pointers from Miller and Clowney took the air from the Hogs’ sails, and the final three minutes were left without a contest. Alabama improves to 14-2 with the win and 4-0 in the SEC.
Alabama 74, Arkansas 63 (3:42): And just like that, Alabama is back in front by 11 points. Back-to-back 3s by Noah Clowney, Brandon Miller and then Miller again silenced Bud Walton Arena after the Hogs got within two. Some tremendous shots from the rookie pair at a pivotal moment on the SEC road trip.
Alabama 65, Arkansas 63 (4:45): Alabama’s lead has all but evaporated with another 7-0 run by the Hogs, forcing Nate Oats to call a timeout. The Tide have missed seven of their last eight shots, while Arkansas has scored on six of their last eight possessions. Davonte Davis is 2-for-2 on 3-pointers as one of the lowest-percentage deep shooters on one of the lowest-percentage deep shooting teams in the nation.
Alabama 62, Arkansas 54 (7:48): Alabama stretched its lead to a game-high 10 points when Mark Sears hit a 3-pointer, part of an overall 4-of-6 3-point shooting second half for the Tide. Sears has 22 points on a quiet night from Miller (five points in 29 minutes). Arkansas has had some offense from Ricky Council and Davonte Davis in the second half, but they’re not a team to outshoot the Tide to win this.
Alabama 55, Arkansas 48 (11:59): Alabama has matched its game-high seven-point lead by shooting its way to a 6-0 run. The Tide is 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the second half, with Noah Clowney scoring nine points in the final four minutes. He and fellow freshman Brandon Miller combined for 14 of the Tide’s 22 second-half points after going just 3-for-33 in the first half.
Alabama 44, Arkansas 40 (15:38): Unsurprisingly, Brandon Miller got involved early after failing to attempt a shot in the first half. He tried two on the first possession of the second half, scoring his first basket and adding two free throws a few minutes later. Charles Bediako went to the bench with four fouls and 17:37 to play.
Arkansas 33, Alabama 33 (half time): Alabama weathered Arkansas’ 9-0 run to score five of the last seven points of the first half, including four from Dom Welch, his first points in a Tide uniform. Brandon Miller hasn’t attempted a shot in 18 minutes, and his two fellow freshmen, Avery Bradley and Noah Clowney, haven’t been much of a factor either. Clowney has three fouls and three points, while Bradley is 1 of 6 shooting. Alabama is being outrebounded, 21-19, and is 2-for-10 on 3-pointers, but has limited its turnovers to six.
Arkansas 29, Alabama 28 (1:43): Here comes the Arkansas race. Seven straight points by the Hogs have erased what had been a huge seven point lead. Alabama’s last four possessions included four missed free throws, two missed shots and a turnover.
Alabama 28, Arkansas 22 (3:26): Alabama is one basket away from opening a game-maximum lead over Arkansas, which has missed 13 of its last 17 shots. The Tide matched the rebounding margin at 17 and hit their second 3-pointer, off Jaden Bradley. Alabama is still 2-for-9 from deep, which is one of its quieter 3-point shooting starts all season.
Alabama 21, Arkansas 16 (6:18): Alabama’s defense continues to do its job, holding Arkansas to 30 percent shooting and 0-for-3 on three-pointers. The Hogs came in at 335th in Division I with a 28.7 three-point percentage. Alabama went on a streak of three consecutive turnovers, but still only has four for the game. Something else to watch: Brandon Miller has yet to attempt a shot.
Alabama 17, Arkansas 12 (11:27): It was a 12-5 run for Alabama between media timeouts, with the Tide having made four of their last five shots and their last four free throws. Arkansas still has a 9-5 rebounding advantage, but the Hogs have turned it over six times to one from Alabama.
Alabama 11, Arkansas 7 (2:12 p.m.): Alabama has scored six straight points, including two free throws by Jahvon Quinerly, who was called along with Arkansas’ Anthony Black for offside technical fouls. Quinerly was fouled going to the basket and then knocked the ball out of Black’s hands, leading to a brief scuffle.
Arkansas 7, Alabama 5 (15:53): Noah Clowney hit the Tide’s first shot of the game, a 3-pointer, but the team has gone 0-for-5 since. Arkansas is outrebounding Alabama, 6-1, and rebounding has been slipping in recent games, Nate Oats noted during his pregame radio interview. The Tide spent much of the first two months of the season in the top three nationally in rebounding margin, but slipped to No. 12 at plus-8.3.
— “Our guys are not going to play scared,” Nate Oats said during his pregame CTSN radio interview. Oats noted how Alabama has experience playing in a tough environment on the road in Houston this season.
— No change to Alabama’s starting lineup, which has settled on Jaden Bradley, Mark Sears, Brandon Miller, Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako.
Mike Rodak is an Alabama reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.