Alabama Basketball Overcomes Perfect Day At the Free-Throw Line From Missouri
TUSCALOOSA, Ala - Alabama men's basketball rolled to a 88-74 defeat of Missouri but had to overcome the Tigers setting a SEC record.
The Tigers made all 31 of its free three attempts, setting the SEC record for most consecutive makes from the free-throw line in a game. It was a shooting performance that, not even Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats had seen before.
"It's crazy," Oats said. "I do not know if anyone in the country has shot over 30 free throws and gone 100 percent this year. My guess would be no. It's a pretty crazy stat. It might be the best free throw shooting in the history of the NCAA."
The previous SEC record for consecutive makes in a game was 27, set by Florida in 1994 against Tennessee.
Overall, the Crimson Tide's defense was stout, holding the Tigers to a 31 percent shooing percentage from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range. But committing the 22 fouls that led to the record-breaking performance was not ideal for the Crimson Tide.
Most teams would pull out a victory after going perfect from the free throw line, not lose by double digits. After the game, Oats praised his team's resilience to do the small things right despite Missouri's hot shooting.
"You look at it, they are 31-of-31 at the free throw line," Oats said. "That shows they were focused and ready to play. This is a team [Missouri], that when they are focused and ready to play, smashed Florida. So, shoot 31-of-31 and we still won by 14, we had to be doing a lot of good things."
"It speaks a lot to what else we were doing because we were not doing a good job keeping them off of the free throw line."
Missouri made 21 of those 31 makes in the first half, but Alabama countered with stellar shooting from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, making 11-of-25.
The adjustments made at intermission by Oats' squad were effective as the Tigers only got to the line for 10 more shots in the second half.
"Some of it was guys just need to sit down and guard," Oats said. "We need to give better effort. Like get in a stance, sit down, move your feet, and guard them."
As for the Crimson Tide, it neutralized the Tigers' effort to some degree, shooting its second highest percentage of the season from the charity stripe at 83.3 percent, making 25-of-30.