NCAA Game Preview - Bears v Crimson Tide

 
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1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET9:00 PM GMT5:00 PM 北京时间2:00 PM MST4:00 PM EST, Jan 29, 2022
Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama  Attendance: 14,474

No. 4 Baylor set to go on the defensive at Alabama

The Big 12-SEC Challenge will feature a match-up between two teams coming off very different results when No. 4 Baylor travels to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama on Saturday.

Baylor (18-2, 6-2 Big 12) is on a three-game winning streak, including a blowout win over Kansas State on Tuesday. Alabama (13-7, 4-4 SEC) has scuffled to four losses in its past six games, including a disastrous loss at Georgia on Tuesday.

The Bears made light work of Kansas State, jumping out to an 18-point halftime lead and coasting to a 74-49 home win. Four Baylor players scored in double figures, with the leading scorer on the season, LJ Cryer, pacing the squad again with 14 points.

Adam Flagler and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua added 13 apiece and Kendall Brown added 10 points on a night where Baylor had 21 assists on 29 made field goals. And even with a balanced and efficient offense, head coach Scott Drew was quick to praise the performance on the other side of the ball.

"Our defense has been ticking up on the uptick," Drew said. "We've been doing a good job addressing some fundamentals we kind of relaxed on. And the other thing, fatigue makes cowards of us all. When you get depth, it helps you."

There was no such strong defensive effort to be found for Alabama in its most recent game. The Crimson Tide traveled to Athens to face a Georgia team that entered the game winless in conference play. The Crimson Tide left with a shocking 82-76 loss.

Alabama allowed Georgia to reach its highest point total of the season in a conference game, and a lot of the damage came from the free throw line. Georgia drew 23 fouls, parlaying those into 24 points from the line compared to just 13 made free throws for the Crimson Tide.

The free throw discrepancy combined with Alabama going just 9 of 34 (26.5 percent) from 3-point range led to the Crimson Tide's worst defeat of the season so far.

"It was a disappointing loss obviously with Georgia being winless in the SEC," Alabama coach Nate Oats said. "We continue to have these issues with playing up and down to the level of our competition. Today I think we got outscored in the last two media segments by 10 -- it was 24-14. Last game we didn't have good starts, this game we didn't close well."

Baylor and Alabama met each other three years ago in this challenge, a game the Bears won 73-68 in Waco, Texas. Outside of that, the programs only have one all-time meeting, a 79-76 Alabama win in 2009.

Alabama will be hoping that a return home can fix some of its woes. The Crimson Tide are 9-1 in Tuscaloosa this season with the only loss coming against current No. 1 Auburn. Baylor is 5-0 on the road though, and four of those wins were in Big 12 play.

Saturday's contest will be the first of a three-game stretch against top 12 teams for Alabama, with a rematch against Auburn and a game against Kentucky looming next week.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 28, 2022

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