Three reasons Arizona men's basketball lost to Alabama

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Madeleine Viceconte | The Daily Wildcat Coach Sean Miller gives orders to his team from the sidelines during the game against Utah Valley on Thursday, Dec. 6 at McKale Center.

Arizona men’s basketball was unable to complete its second-half comeback, falling to Alabama 79-76 on the road Sunday. These three factors contributed to the ‘Cats' loss in Tuscaloosa.

19-Point Deficit

Arizona trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half, at 33-14 after a slow start. The ‘Cats used two runs, a 14-5 run over the final 6:12 of the half as well as an 11-0 run to begin the second half and pull within three, at 39-36.

          GAME RECAP: Arizona basketball's comeback attempt goes south against Alabama

Alabama capitalized on a cold start for Arizona, using a 23-2 run to open up its big lead early in the first half. The Crimson Tide hit seven shots in a row at one point in the first half, while their defense held Arizona to just 31.6 percent shooting to carry a nine-point lead into halftime.

Lack of Free Throws

Arizona has been dialed in at the free throw line this season, shooting 76.8 percent on the year coming in, putting them at No. 21 in the nation.

The ‘Cats only attempted nine free throws on Sunday and made six. Arizona went 19-22 in their other big non-conference road game last Sunday against UConn and 14-16 Thursday against Utah Valley.

Arizona attempted 24 3s Sunday, hitting only nine. The team settled for many instead of driving to the basket and getting contact, which could have changed things dramatically in a close loss.

Randolph Struggled

While the streak of Brandon Randolph scoring in double figures continued Sunday with a 17-point effort, he normally does it much more efficiently.

Randolph came into the game shooting 48.6 percent from the floor but struggled Sunday, shooting 7-20 from the floor. Randolph shot just 3-9 from 3, unable to carry over his performance against Utah Valley on Thursday, in which his four 3s to begin the second half gave Arizona life in a game it trailed in most of the first half.

The Wildcats will have almost a week off before their next game, as they return home to take on Baylor in their latest tip-off of the year Saturday at 9 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.


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