Poor Shooting and Careless Turnovers lead to Kentucky rout over Alabama
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Hunter De Siver
“My advice to you… is to start drinking heavily,” world renowned college movie Animal House character John ‘Bluto’ Blutarsky said. A drink was definitely needed for Kentucky’s slaughter of Alabama of Saturday.
Kentucky didn’t win this game, Alabama lost it. The 66-55 score didn’t reflect how the game was played.
Alabama stayed in the game due to Kentucky being just sloppy as they were. Both teams had 15 turnovers. However, Kentucky had 12 steals (compared to Bama’s five), meaning that the Tide threw it to or got it stripped from the Wildcats, while most of Kentucky’s turnovers were mental errors like traveling or a backcourt violation.
Several hours before the game, Tide fans were putting on their crimson apparel and hard hats to walk over to Coleman Coliseum.
By 4:45 p.m., the line to get into the 7 p.m. game stretched through the entire front side of the arena.
Just 15 minutes later, thousands of students were chatting together in line until two blue buses went through the gates. When those buses slowly moved through the gates, silent death stares by every student were beamed onto the tinted windows.
To keep the Crimson Chaos entertained while waiting on the line, a shirtless cowboy with a fur coat, blue jean shorts and red guitar gave everyone something positive to remember this game
When the doors finally opened at 5:30 p.m., thousands of fans scrambled into what they thought was the best seat in the house.
By 6:00 p.m. (one hour before tipoff), the student section had no seats left.
The result of this game was crucial to how the rest of the season will turn out. If Alabama wins, they would acquire the momentum to defeat all of their opponents (all unranked) until Feb. 16, when they will rematch Kentucky at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.
With 60 seconds until the stadium would unite for the national anthem, the Tide had one last huddle, probably saying how important this “future vs pioneers” game truly was.
The crowd was as loud as it’s been in a long time for the start of the game, and Alabama was fueled by it. Legendary Kentucky coach John Calipari called a timeout two minutes into the game after Alabama forward Keon Ellis hit a three-pointer to make it 9-1. Unfortunately, that would end up being one of the only threes the Tide had all game.
The first half ended with an emphatic alley-oop slam from Bama big man Charles Bediako. Down 33-27 at halftime, coach Nate Oats knew his blue-collar team needed to come out firing in the second half.
Throughout the second half, the Tide missed and missed and missed shot after shot after shot.
Alabama finished shooting 18-64 from the field (28.1%) including an unheard of 3-30 (10%) from downtown.
The final few minutes just added insult to injury as Kentucky stole the ball as if they were taking candy from a baby.
What was once a full capacity Coleman Coliseum, became just red empty seats with three minutes remaining in regulation.