Alabama falls to Arkansas despite big Senior Night performance from Obasohan

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Tyler Waldrep

When the calendar turned to March, the Alabama basketball program found itself with an opportunity few would have imagined back in October, but Alabama’s chances of receiving a spot in the NCAA Tournament took a hit not 48 hours into the month as the Crimson Tide fell to Arkansas 62-61 on Senior Night in Coleman Coliseum.

Team captain Retin Obasohan had the ball with a chance win or tie the game up for Alabama twice in the final minute of play, but both times the SEC’s No. 5 shooter, by accuracy, found himself unable to score the basket his team needed.

“The season’s not over,” Obasohan said. “We are still in a position to do far more than anything we could have possibly imagined. So yeah, like coach said, we go back to the drawing board and learn from this.”

Obasohan may not have gotten the game-winner, but a number of the senior’s shots did find the basket as he finished with a game-high 32 points while shooting 10-of-19 from the field and 3-of-5 beyond the arc.

He also finished with 12 of the Crimson Tide’s final 14 points to keep the game within reach. Alabama even managed to take a one-point lead as late as the 3:38 mark, but Arkansas’s No. 1 scorer for the evening, Moses Kingsley (19 points), scored his final basket to give Arkansas a lead it hung onto for the remainder of the game.

“We are who we are,” coach Avery Johnson said. “Since Dazon [Ingram] went down and Retin moved into the lineup [at point guard] you know Retin’s been pretty much our leading guy, you know he’s been the leading actor.”

Shannon Hale (10 points) was the only other Alabama player to finish in double-figures. Johnson has repeatedly said his team cannot be successful without a balanced attack and after the loss to Arkansas he said he was baffled why his team passed up so many open 3’s.

One player that did take shots from behind the arc was senior Arthur Edwards. He finished 2-of-6 behind the arc and finished with a total of six points in what might be his last game in Coleman Coliseum.

Johnson recognized the two seniors before the game began, but he made sure to thank them again after the game despite the loss. He said their efforts this season helped him lay a foundation he can build on in future years.

“Arthur Edwards coming in and his production on both ends of the floor has enabled us to overachieve in a lot of ways this year,” Johnson said. “Without these guys, we wouldn’t even have the record we have today. For a team that’s pick to come in 13th or whatever in the SEC and was probably projected to win five or six games the entire year. “