After a huge emotional victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, the Tennessee Vols weren’t able to return home to their friendly gym.
Instead, they had to go into another road environment to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The hostile road environment at Coleman Coliseum proved to be too much, as the Vols (18-6, 8-4 SEC) were handily defeated 78-50 by the Tide (16-9, 7-5 SEC), snapping their season-high six-game winning streak.
From the tip, many things weren’t going right for the Vols. They allowed the Tide to get off to a 17-6 lead in the opening minutes as they struggled to get anything going.
The Vols were able to cut into the lead and make it a two-point game later in the first half, but that was as close as it would get since the Vols were never able to gain the lead.
During their six-game win streak, the Vols were primarily carried by their defense. In each of the six games during the streak, the Vols held their opponents to 63 points or fewer.
Against the Tide, Tennessee struggled defensively, allowing them to shoot 57 percent from the field. Projected top-10 pick Colin Sexton led the Tide offensively, scoring 16 points while dishing out four assists.
Offensively, the Vols had their worst outing of the season, shooting 28 percent from the field.
Grant Williams led the Vols with 16 points, but the Tide focused their defensive effort around Williams. Williams was constantly double-teamed and held to 5-of-12 shooting from the field.
In the second half, Williams countered the Tide’s defense by trying to look for his teammates, but they couldn’t get many shots to fall. The rest of the starters struggled as they shot a combined 6-of-24 against the Tide’s defense.
Williams was the lone Vol to reach double figures in the game, with Admiral Schofield’s seven points being the next highest.
With a loss, the Vols are now tied with the Florida Gators for second place in the SEC standings with a 8-4 record. The Auburn Tigers lead the SEC standings with a 10-2 record.
Entering Saturday’s contest, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had the Vols projected as a three seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Before the game against the Tide, the Vols were 6-2 in true road games and looked like one of the best road teams in the SEC.
Now, Tennessee will try to regroup and get back on track with a big week ahead. They’ll host South Carolina this week and head to Georgia next Saturday to another hostile environment.