TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Levi Randolph had not scored in double figures since tallying 14 points against LSU on Jan. 25. In the eight games since he scored a total of 22 points, while shooting a woeful 8 of 32 from the floor (25%).
Consider the slump over.
Randolph exploded for a career night in leading Alabama to an 80-73 win over Missouri Saturday night. Randolph poured in a personal-best 33 points to go with career-highs of 11 field goals, five three-pointers, and six free throws.
"Coach tells us to be aggressive and play with confidence, Randolph said. "When the shots come, you have to be ready to take them. With the offense that we were running and the things that came available, I was able to knock them down. When opportunities present themselves, you have to take advantage of those opportunities."
Missouri didn't have an answer for Randolph, who scored in a variety of ways: jump shots, lay-ups, three-point shots, dunks and free throws.
"Once he got going he started knocking down three's left and right," Missouri guard Jabari Brown said. "That's all it takes, just a couple of shots to go in for guys and they get a lot of confidence."
"(Randolph) had a career game," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "He had a lot of open looks. He was very comfortable. .We didn't do enough to get him out of his comfort zone."
"I'm so proud of (Randolph)," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "I thought he was tremendous tonight. He gave us great effort and great energy.He was in the flow of the game. His shots were coming in rhythm. It's good to see hard work rewarded."
Randolph had help, especially from Trevor Releford, who played injured and still contributed 18 points and a six assists.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Alabama (11-16, 5-9 SEC) and a three-game winning streak for Missouri (19-8, 7-7).
With Alabama trailing 16-13 Randolph scored 17 of the next 20 points to trigger a 20-7 Alabama run as the Crimson Tide took a 33-23 lead at the 6:06 mark. Missouri responded with a 10-3 run and cut the lead to 36-33 on a three-pointer by Earnest Ross with 2:46 left. The Crimson Tide then outscored the Tigers 6-2, with Randolph's 18th and 19th points of the first half coming on a dunk that closed the scoring and enabled Alabama to take a 42-35 lead at intermission. Ross had 13 points in the first half for Missouri.
Alabama led throughout the second half, although Missouri did trim the lead to 61-60 on three free throws by Ross with 7:10 left. The Tigers managed to pull within 65-63 on a lay-up by Clarkson with 5:18 to go before the Crimson Tide outscored Missouri 13-3 to make it 78-66 with :46 left in the game.
"It was a great win for our team, a really great character win for our guys to step up, in terms of the way our season has gone up to this point," Grant said. "A lot of guys stepped up, like Levi did. When they cut the lead to one, our guys had to step up and make some plays."
"Alabama played with a lot more passion and toughness than we did," Haith said. "We didn't defend at all. We cut their lead to one. As bad as we were playing, we had the ball and had a chance to take the lead, and we had a chance to get back into the game. We just didn't get the stops that we needed.
Ross scored 25 points and had eight rebounds for Missouri. Brown added 23 points and Jordan Clarkson contributed 14.