Razorbacks rolled by Crimson Tide in season finale


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A 21-3 run in the first half and 24 points by Alabama senior Trevor Releford was too much to overcome, as Arkansas suffered an 83-58 setback against the Crimson Tide on the final day of SEC regular season play at Coleman Coliseum.

With the loss, the Razorbacks finish up the regular season with a 21-10 overall record and 10-8 mark in the SEC to finish in fifth place in the league standings.

Winners of eight of its last 10 heading into the postseason, Arkansas will be the No. 5 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament at the Georgia Dome and will take on the winner of No. 12 seed Auburn and No. 13 seed South Carolina on Thursday in the second round. Tip will be 25 minutes after the conclusion of the noon game.

Alabama earned the No. 10 seed in the tournament and will play No. 7 seed LSU Thursday night at 6 p.m.

Alabama (13-18, 7-11) took control of the game in the first half when it embarked on a 21-3 run that turned a 10-8 lead at the 15:29 mark into a commanding 31-11 advantage with just over six minutes left in the half. Arkansas could come no closer than 19 the rest of the way, doing so twice in the second half.

Junior Ky Madden and freshman Bobby Portis combined to score 36 of Arkansas’ 58 points. Madden’s team-high 19 points came on 5-of-9 from three-point land, marking the ninth time in SEC play he’s led the way in scoring. After breaking an Arkansas freshman scoring record with 35 points against Alabama in February, Portis followed the record-setting performance with 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

Releford’s 24 points marked the 19th time this season he’s led Alabama in scoring and his 12th 20-point effort of the year.

Releford’s point tally pushed him past Jerry Harper (1953-56) for fifth on the Tide’s all-time scoring list with 1,862 points. The Kansas City, Mo., native was one of two seniors honored prior to tip-off.

Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Shannon Hale came off the bench to score 18 points and was part of a quartet of players in double figures for Alabama, who set a SEC season-best with 83 points.

Junior guard Levi Randolph had 11 points while freshman forward Jimmie Taylor had 10 points, six rebounds, and Alabama’s only block. Junior center Carl Engstrom had a team-high seven rebounds.