Alabama handed No. 7 Tennessee its first loss of the season on Saturday evening inside of Thompson-Boling Arena, 71-63.
The Crimson Tide (7-3, 2-0 SEC) caught fire from behind the three-point line to begin the second half and never looked back as it led the entire final 20 minutes of play. Alabama held a 31-29 lead at the half and quickly extended the lead to 48-36 after five consecutive made three-pointers.
Senior forward Herbert Jones began the 3-point barrage. Freshman guard Josh Primo then made back-to-back 3’s before senior guard John Petty capped the run with another pair of back-to-back three’s.
Alabama finished the game 10-of-20 from behind the 3-point line despite shooting 2-of-9 from distance in the first half. The Crimson Tide entered the game as 30.5% shooters from three on the season.
Tennessee (7-1, 1-1 SEC) tried its best to claw back into the basketball game. The Vols managed to cut the lead down to six following three Victor Bailey Jr. free throws, but Alabama guard Jaden Shackelford immediately drained a corner three on the other end to push the lead back to nine. UT could not cut the lead down any closer despite opportunities off of Crimson Tide missed free throws.
The Tide provided the Vols with many opportunities to get back in the game following the five consecutive made 3’s. UT’s poor shooting night insisted. Tennessee went on to finish 32% shooting from the field, 4-of-21 from three and 17-of-26 from the free throw line.
Three Vols managed to reach double-figures despite the poor offensive outing. Victor Bailey Jr. scored 16 points on 4-of-14 shooting and 0-of-5 from three. Santiago Vescovi chipped in 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting from three, while Keon Johnson added 12 points, respectively.
Petty was Alabama’s leading scorer with 17 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from three. Jahvon Quinerly added 12 points, while Primo and Jones had 11 apiece.
Tennessee now turns its attention to Arkansas. The Vols will welcome the Razorbacks to Knoxville on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. tip.