Alabama falls to Memphis on the road Tuesday night

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

Following wins over No. 5 Gonzaga and No. 14 Houston, the Alabama Crimson Tide men’s basketball team couldn’t extend its four-game win streak to five. The Memphis Tigers defeated Alabama 92-78 Tuesday night at the FedExForum.

Forward DeAndre Williams led the way for the Tigers with 20 points and six assists in an offensive showcase for Memphis.

Alabama couldn’t find a rhythm on offense for most of the game, and some of its key players didn’t perform well. The leading scorer, guard Jaden Shackelford, only scored 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Guard Jahvon Quinerly only tallied 12 on 4-for-11 shooting. 

The two also combined for nine of the team’s 20 turnovers. Those 20 turnovers were a big hit to the Crimson Tide’s chances of leaving FedExForum with a win.

Memphis turned the giveaways into 29 points of its own.

The Crimson Tide shot 46% from the field and hit 10 3-pointers, but sloppy defensive play led to an avalanche of fouls. The Tigers took advantage, making 20 of its 25 free throws. The Crimson Tide only shot 12.

“I don’t think it was an officiating issue,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “It was a playing hard issue.”

The one bright spot for the Crimson Tide was the resurgence of guard Keon Ellis. After struggling the past few games, Ellis had 19 points and six rebounds.

“It was good to get Keon going,” Oats said. “It is good to see him get going again.”

Memphis finished the game with nine dunks, most coming off of fast breaks.

A team made desperate after losing four straight games, the Tigers came out ready to play, taking a 9-2 lead less than three minutes in.

But Alabama didn’t come to western Tennessee to lose.

The Crimson Tide went on a 16-4 run to take an 18-13 lead with 12:17 to go in the first half.

The teams continued to battle, and Alabama held a three-point advantage with under four minutes to play before the break.

But Memphis put together a key run, outscoring the Crimson Tide 8-0 the rest of the way to take a 37-32 lead into the locker room.

Memphis guard Landers Nolley II was the story for the Tigers in the first half, scoring 11 points in the first frame.

Throughout the second half, Alabama made shots but just couldn’t get enough stops to remain close.

The Crimson Tide trailed 49-42 at the 15:04 mark, but that’s when it all broke loose.

After two deep 3-pointers by guard Tyler Harris, Memphis recorded a 12-0 run to take a 19-point lead.

From there, the Crimson Tide couldn’t get back in it. Every time Alabama inched closer, the Tigers would have a breakaway alley-oop. When all was said and done, the Tigers defeated the sixth-ranked team in the country by 14 points, showing the high-flying talent they’ve had all along.

“We didn’t come ready to play,” Oats said. “That’s on the coaching staff and the players both. Give a ton of credit to Memphis. We tried to tell everyone we were gonna get Memphis’s best shot. They came ready to play. We had multiple guys not play their best basketball game. We’ve got some work to do.”

Alabama will play again on Saturday, Dec 18. against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Tip-off from Coleman Coliseum is set for 7:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.