TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Sophomore Tony Mitchell had a career-high 27 points, Trevor Releford had 17 points and JaMychal Green 16 points to lead Alabama to a 69-56 victory over Arkansas on Saturday night.
Mitchell and Green added nine rebounds each and Releford had four assists as the Crimson Tide (18-8, 10-2) clinched at least a share of the Southeastern Conference’s West Division championship.
Rotnei Clarke scored 21 points for Arkansas (16-10, 5-7), which won 70-65 at home in the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 15.
Alabama remains unbeaten at home (14-0) and has won 13 of its last 15 games. It’s the Crimson Tide’s best SEC start since it was 10-2 in the conference in 2001-02.
With the score tied 51-51 and 8:15 remaining, Alabama went on a 12-3 run to bolt to a 63-54 lead on a dunk by Green with 2:50 to go.
In an evenly played first half that had six ties and seven lead changes, Mitchell’s layup at the buzzer tied it 31-31 at intermission.
Alabama jumped out to a 12-6 lead but the Razorbacks went on a 24-14 run to go in front 30-26 with 3:12 left on an alley-oop dunk by Glenn Bryant off a pass from Mardracus Wade.
Releford made a field goal, was fouled and made the free throw to pull the Crimson Tide to within 30-29. Marshawn Powell made a free throw with 24 seconds to go for Arkansas to make it 31-29 before Mitchell tied it at the half.
As it did in the first half, Alabama started quickly in the second, opening up a 38-33 lead, but Arkansas responded with a 16-6 run to take a 49-44 lead after two free throws by Clarke.