Alabama hoops pounds Kentucky but 2 starters injured – AL.com

This was your classic good news/bad news moment.

Alabama basketball’s historically good open to SEC play included a blowout 85-65 win over Kentucky in Rupp Arena. It broke an eight-game skid in Lexington for its first win there in 15 years. Before Tuesday, the Tide hasn’t been 5-0 in SEC play since 1987.

It was the most lopsided home loss of the John Calipari era that began in 2009.

That was the good.

Having two starters go down with injuries cast a bit of a shadow on that outcome. Star senior Herbert Jones went down clutching his hand in the first half before grad transfer Jordan Bruner couldn’t put any weight on his foot in the second.

Most of the attention went to Jones after he gutted through a broken wrist last season.

“I don’t think it’s broke,” Oats said. “But I think they want our specialists to look at tomorrow before they give us a diagnosis. From what I heard, it’s not broke but I think he will be out for a little while.”

Oats also said Bruner’s knee would be evaluated by doctors after they fly home.

Alabama (10-3, 5-0 SEC) almost equaled a season-high with 14 made shots from behind the arc that still trails the 15 from the win over UNLV. It was the Tide’s sixth straight win since falling to Western Kentucky on Dec. 19. It’s a run that includes wins over top-5 Tennessee, Florida, Auburn and now Kentucky.

The 20-point final margin was a game-high as John Petty went for a season-high 23 on a night Alabama finished the game without three starters. Point guard Jahvon Quinerly missed his third straight game with an undisclosed medical issue.

Petty did his part with efficiency. The senior from Huntsville went 4-for-7 from 3-point range to top his previous season-high of 22 set against UNLV on Dec. 1.

Kentucky (4-7, 3-1) had no answer for Alabama’s penetrating guards from Petty to Jaden Shackelford and Jones before his injury. A handful of easy layups or dunks resulted from the Wildcats’ inability to switch when the ball got in the paint.

Alabama also took advantage of sloppy Wildcat play on the offensive end, too. The 19 Kentucky turnovers turned into 28 Crimson Tide points on a night the Wildcats finished with a 44-36 rebounding edge.

“Kentucky is obviously down this year,” Oats said, “but they’re still Kentucky.”

The hosts also continued a season-long struggle from 3-point range, making just 4-for-18.

Alabama plays host to Arkansas at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday in Coleman Coliseum.

Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande or on Facebook.