Alabama was minus two suspended starters but Tennessee was minus almost its entire offense Saturday in a 62-50 loss at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa.
Tied 32-32 with 17:14 remaining, the Vols managed just one basket during a disastrous 11-minute stretch that saw the Tide outscore them 20-3 to build a 52-35 lead with 5:55 remaining.
Tennessee, which saw a four-game winning streak snapped, slips to 14-13. Bama, playing without suspended stars JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell, improves to 17-9. Both teams are 6-6 in SEC play.
The Vols played well enough to win defensively, limiting Bama to 36.9 percent shooting from the field and 27.8 percent from 3 while forcing 14 turnovers. The problem was, Tennessee was abysmal offensively, shooting 34.1 percent (15 of 44) from the field and 20 percent (4 of 20) from behind the arc while committing 17 turnovers.
"I just think we came out a little stagnant," Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon said on the post-game show. "Their press gave us a lot of problems in the full court. Me and Trae had a lot of problems holding onto the ball."
Point guard Trae Golden finished with 6 turnovers and Maymon 5. Tennessee's 17 team turnovers was its worst showing since a 25-turnover outing Jan. 24 at Vanderbilt.
Maymon enjoyed some success on the inside, hitting six of eight field-goal tries en route to a game-high 20 points. Golden added 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Freshman Jarnell Stokes, limited to three first-half minutes by two quick fouls, finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds in just 21 minutes.
gave us a lot
in the full court."
— Jeronne Maymon
Tennessee got next-to-nothing from its wings, who went a combined 2 for 22 from the field. Starters Cameron Tatum and Skylar McBee were 0 for 6 each. Backups Jordan McRae (2 for 8) and Josh Richardson (0 for 2) also struggled.
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin thought Bama deserved some credit for the Vols' offensive woes. The Tide blocked 7 shots and recorded a season-high 15 steals.
"They did a good job of running and jumping and trapping, mixing up their zone and man," he said. "They did a really good job."
Tennessee started well and led 13-8 eight minutes into the game.. Alabama made a 19-4 spurt, however, to go up 27-17. Golden hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Vols pull within 29-25 at the break.
A three-point play by Stokes tied the score at 32 with 17:14 to go but Tennessee's offense evaporated at this point. A Maymon free throw and a Golden layup were the only points the Vols got over the next 11 minutes. Meanwhile, Trevor Releford scored nine of Bama's 20 points as the Tide went up 52-35 and salted the game away.
"They got us in the press and they got us in the backcourt, when we made some weak passes and they made plays, used their length and got steals," Martin said. "We didn't make shots. When you don't make shots you get a little hesitant but you've got to stay aggressive and shoot the ball."
In addition to shooting poorly, Tennessee surrendered 14 offensive rebounds and lost the backboard battle 37-31.
Freshman Trevor Lacey scored 18 points to pace Bama, while Releford added 13. Andrew Steele chipped in 10 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals.
Tennessee tries to get back on track Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena, facing Ole Miss at 7 p.m.