The Oklahoma game Saturday provided yet another example this week of when intensity and effort are not there, No. 2 Alabama basketball can become average quickly.
That showed up in the first half against Mississippi State on Wednesday, but the Crimson Tide was able to escape with a one-bucket victory.
That wasn't the case Saturday. Alabama scored the first basket of the game, but the Crimson Tide never held a lead again. Oklahoma jumped out to an early lead and seldom relented en route to a 93-69 victory over Alabama in the SEC/Big 12 challenge at Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma fans stormed the court to celebrate the victory.
The Crimson Tide had won its past nine games.
Here are observations and takeaways from the game between No. 2 Alabama (18-3, 8-0 SEC) and Oklahoma (12-9, 2-6 Big 12).
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Alabama defense struggles early as Oklahoma offense dominates
The game couldn't have started much worse on the defensive end for the Crimson Tide.
Oklahoma took advantage of Alabama's defensive miscues and lack of intensity, and the Sooners didn't miss many baskets. At one point, Oklahoma went 11-for-11.
Oklahoma finished 19-for-28 from the field in the first half, a whopping 68%. It beat Alabama at its own game, too, as the Sooners shot significantly better from beyond the arc. Oklahoma went 6-for-8 while the Crimson Tide finished 3-for-10.
Alabama starting the game flat on defense led to Oklahoma taking a 50-33 lead before the break.
Crimson Tide can't reverse course in second half
Alabama managed to narrow the gap early in the second half thanks to a 3-pointer from Brandon Miller and a few other plays. The first few minutes in the second half went relatively well as Alabama drew within 11. But the Crimson Tide couldn't sustain it.
Oklahoma didn't shoot quite as well in the second half, but it kept carving up the Alabama defense.
Grant Sherfield and Jalen Hill had little resistance scoring in the first and second half. They each tallied double-digit scoring in both halves, as Sherfield finished with 30 and Hill had 26. Hill hit the shot that gave Oklahoma a 30-point lead for the first time with about 5:30 left in the game.
3-point issues continue
Alabama's shooting from beyond the arc has been trending down the past few games.
Over the past three games before Saturday, the Crimson Tide had not reached 30% from deep. That didn't change against the Sooners as Alabama continued to be cold from beyond the arc. Alabama went 6-for-22 (27%) from deep against Oklahoma.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Oklahoma dominates Alabama basketball in SEC/Big 12 challenge