It might as well have been opposite day inside of Rupp Arena based how the outside shots were falling Saturday.
Alabama, which entered the game as the Southeastern Conference's top perimeter-shooting team, languished through its worst 3-point shooting effort of the season, while host Kentucky, statistically one of the league's worst 3-point shooting teams, found its groove from deep to dispatch the Crimson Tide 76-67 on Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
The sharpshooting Crimson Tide (8-7, 1-2 SEC), which was averaging an SEC-leading 11.1 made 3s per game, missed its first six 3-point attempts of the game and finished a season-low 4-of-21 (19-percent) from beyond the arch.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats, which averaged 4.7 made 3s per game coming into Saturday, doubled that total Saturday making 9-of-15 from 3-point range, including 5-of-6 individually from sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley, who led Kentucky with 19 points off the bench.
Coming in as one of the SEC's hottest teams having scored 90 or more points in each of its last five straight games, Alabama just never got going offensively as junior wings Herb Jones and John Petty Jr. led with 18 and 16 points, respectively, with Petty representing the only Crimson Tide player with multiple made 3s in the game. Petty shot 3-of-8 from outside and was 6-of-15 for the game while the rest of Alabama's roster combined to miss 12 of the other 13 3-point attempts in the game, including an 0-of-6 showing from graduate senior guard James "Beetle" Bolden, a native of Covington, Kentucky.
Tide head coach Nate Oats knew his team was going to have to make shots if it had any chance to pull off a road upset at No. 14 Kentucky.
Unfortunately, the sharpshooting Tide never seemed to find its stroke inside hostile Rupp Arena, especially from outside the arch.
Coming into Saturday's contest, Alabama led the SEC with 156 made 3-pointers while the Wildcats ranked second-to-last with 66 made 3s. Kentucky had made more than seven 3-pointers just once this season when it dropped 10-of-22 from 3 against Lamar University earlier in non-conference play.
The 'Cats nearly matched that total Saturday, making 9-of-15 from beyond the arch for a season-best 60-percent shooting percentage from 3-point range.
And Alabama's troubles started from the get go as it opened with two separate 1-of-8 shooting slumps over the game's first 10 minutes during a 5-of-21 start that included an 0-of-6 start from 3-point range.
In fact, the Tide's first 3-pointer came off a block and transition 3-pointer from freshman guard Jaylen Forbes with 8:51 to play that cut Kentucky's lead to 24-19. Herbert Jones followed with a putback layup a minute later to pull back within three, 24-21.
But inconsistency from outside continued to plague Alabama's usually reliable perimeter shooting as Petty didn't make his second 3-pointer of the game until 11 seconds remained in the first half to cut the Wildcats' advantage to 45-35 at the break.
In an effort to stay within range of Kentucky without much of a perimeter game, the Crimson Tide opted for more post play, turning into the paint to put points on the board.
Alabama continued to go inside and built an 18-4 advantage on points in the paint to pull within 28-26 with a Bolden layup with 6:21 left in the first half.
The Tide then missed eight of its next 10 field goal tries, including four 3s, as Kentucky stretched its lead to 45-32 on the heels of a 17-6 run before Petty's second 3 of the game pulled Alabama back within 10 before halftime.
A return to the paint helped the Tide keep it close in the second half, cutting a 15-point deficit down to 3 on the heels of a 23-11 run that was aided by 10 layups or post plays to pull within 63-60 with 5:04 remaining in the game.
That helped the Crimson Tide maintain a 44-20 advantage in points in the paint in the game, much of it coming on fastbreak or transition opportunities with a 17-7 advantage off 14 Kentucky turnovers in the game.
Kira Lewis Jr. and freshman Jaden Shackelford had been among Alabama's most consistent scorers of late, averaging 15.4 and 15.6 points, respectively per game over their last five contests.
But neither could find much luck Saturday with Lewis making just 4-of-11 field goal tries for 10 points and Shackelford producing a season-low 2 points on just 1-of-4 shooting in the game. That coupled with Bolden's rough night making just 2-of-11 field goals, including 0-of-6 from 3-point range, proved to be the different in Alabama's second-straight road collapse in SEC play.