Vols can’t hold 15-point 2nd half lead, lose at Alabama 63-57

UT coach Rick Barnes / Credit: Jeff Jacoby - WNML

Vols can’t hold 15-point 2nd half lead, lose at Alabama 63-57

UT coach Rick Barnes / Credit: Jeff Jacoby - WNML
UT coach Rick Barnes / Credit: Jeff Jacoby – WNML

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tennessee couldn’t hold on to a late lead in a 63-57 loss to Alabama at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday night.

The Vols led by as many as 15 points in the second half but faltered on offense down the stretch as the Crimson Tide were able to complete the comeback.

Kevin Punter led three Vols in double figured with 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Robert Hubbs III and Admiral Schofield chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively.

After a slow start from both teams, it became a game of runs in a low-scoring first half as the Vols went on a 14-0 spurt to take a 12-point lead with just over 10 minutes left in the half. The Crimson Tide answered with an 11-3 run of their own to cut the Tennessee lead to 25-24 at the half.

Armani Moore led UT with seven points and four rebounds and three blocks at the break while Detrick Mostella chipped in with five points.

The Vols opened the second half on fire and went on another big run to retake control of the game. The Big Orange outscored Alabama 21-5 over a 5-minute span early in the half to take a 15-point lead with 13:45 to play. Punter and Schofield both hit a pair of 3-pointers while Hubbs also added six points to fuel the run.

However, much like the first half, Alabama answered. The Tide ripped off a 14-0 run to cut their deficit to just one with just over seven minutes to play. Hubbs ended a Tennessee scoring drought of over eight minutes with a tough finish at the rim while being fouled. He completed the 3-point play to put the Vols back up by four with 5:26 to play.

Alabama tied the game on a layup by Retin Obasohan and took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Arthur Edwards with 38 seconds to play. Obasohan led all scorers with 22 points on the night.

Moore Shows Off Versatility: Senior forward Armani Moore impacted the game in a multitude of ways with seven points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and four assists. With his five blocks, Moore moved into a tie for 10th with Marcus Haslip on the Tennessee career blocks list with 116.

Punter Continues Double-Digit Scoring Streak: With a team-high 15 points, senior guard Kevin Punter extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 18 consecutive games and 19 total this season. Punter led the Vols in scoring for the 15th time this season.

Hubbs Producing Offensively: Robert Hubbs III continued to be a reliable offensive option for the Vols, scoring 13 points on the night. Hubbs has now scored in double figures 15 times this season. Only Punter has had more double-digit scoring efforts for Tennessee this season.

Up Next: Tennessee remains on the road to take on TCU on Saturdayafternoon in Fort Worth, Texas. It will be just the second ever meeting between the two programs as the Horned Frogs won the only previous matchup, 73-59, in the 1991 San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico. Saturday’sgame is slated for a 2 p.m. ET tip and will be televised on the ESPN2. As always fans can also listen to Bob Kesling (PxP) and Steve Hamer (analyst) on the Vol Radio Network.

-UT Athletics


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