No. 24 Oklahoma Upsets No. 9 Alabama for 3rd Straight Win vs. Top 10 Team

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2021

Oklahoma guard De'Vion Harmon (11) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Alabama's 10-game winning streak came to an end Saturday with a 66-61 loss to No. 24 Oklahoma at the Lloyd Noble Center. 

The Crimson Tide entered today's game ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press Top 25, their highest ranking since December 2006. Their 10 consecutive wins was their longest streak since opening the 1996-97 season with 10 straight victories. 

Oklahoma is playing its best basketball of the season with three straight wins against Top 10 opponents. The Sooners beat Kansas and Texas leading up to their showdown with Alabama. They had to play this game without leading scorer Austin Reaves and Alondes Williams because of COVID-19 protocols

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Oklahoma is the third team since the introduction of the AP Poll in 1948-49 with 4 regular-season victories over top-10 opponents in a single calendar month. They join NC State in January 1974 and Saint Joseph's in December 1964. https://t.co/Qj4tzcWYQ9

Sophomore De'Vion Harmon led the Sooners with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Jalen Hill made four straight free-throw attempts late in the second half to turn a 60-59 deficit into a three-point advantage for Oklahoma. 

Alabama missed its last eight field-goal attempts and only scored one point in the final 3:44. 

After trailing by as many as 12 points midway through the second half, the Crimson Tide appeared to hit their stride by going on a 17-4 run to take a one-point lead. 

That's when the wheels fell off for their offense, even as the defense played well enough to keep them in the game. 

Oklahoma only scored 11 points after Harmon's three-pointer gave it a 55-43 lead with 9:44 remaining. Neither team was particularly effective shooting the ball. The Sooners made 40.3 percent of their field-goal attempts, slightly better than Alabama's 38.9 shooting percentage. They combined to go 18-of-49 from three-point range. 

Part of Alabama's problem was John Petty Jr., who entered Saturday leading the team in scoring with 13.9 points per game, being held to nine points on 2-of-8 shooting. The senior is really struggling of late with a 33.3 field-goal percentage over the past three games.

Petty also had one assist to four turnovers. The Crimson Tide also got no production from their bench outside of Keon Ellis' 11 points. The four other reserves who played combined to score zero points on four field-goal attempts. 

Oklahoma is still chasing Baylor and Texas in the Big 12 standings, but its recent hot streak against ranked opponents certainly indicates head coach Lon Kruger has a roster in place capable of making a deep run in the NCAA tournament.