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Hog Wild: Alabama puts down Razorbacks to clinch double-bye in SEC tournament

The Alabama Crimson Tide ended the regular season on a high with a thrilling 92-88 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks, clinching a double bye in the SEC Tournament.

As has been the case many times this season, it wasn't a great start for the Tide, who trailed by 15 points with about six minutes left in the first half.

However, Mark Sears scored 13 points in the first half, and Alabama was able to narrow the gap to six points by halftime, hitting three of Alabama's four 3-pointers in the first half.

After the first frame, Alabama shot just 36 percent from the field, while Arkansas shot nearly 52 percent from the field.

Alabama led 60-56 at the 8-and-under timeout and started the second half with a 1-of-9 lead from three.

Alabama tied the game at 74 with 22 seconds left in regulation on a 3-pointer by Latrell Lightsell, the team's X-factor. Wrightsell returned to action last week after missing four consecutive games with a concussion.

In overtime, the Tide's offense was in full swing, scoring on every possession and totaling 18 points in their final five games to defeat Arkansas.

Sam Walters made a three-pointer with three minutes left to take the lead, but Nick Pringle hit an alley-oop from a right cell to give Alabama a four-point lead with one minute left.

In fitting fashion, it was a large number of Alabama's seniors who celebrated Senior Day.

Mark Sears had 22 points, Wrightsell had 20 points and Aaron Estrada had 10 points and seven assists.

Grant Nelson and Nick Pringle each had double-doubles (Nelson with 14 points and 13 rebounds, Pringle with 10 points and 10 points), making it the first time Alabama has had two players achieve this feat in the same game. It was the first time this season.

After the game, Nate Oats praised Latrell Lightsell's influence and said that without him, Alabama would have won the league championship.

“We needed him in a bad way. If he had been in every game he played in, I think we definitely wouldn't have lost. If he hadn't gone down, we would have won the league championship. “I would have done that,” Oates said.

“He played close to 40 minutes and had some tough plays. You know maybe he’s not in good enough shape to play 40 minutes…He scored 20 points, but tonight We needed all those scores.”

Alabama finished the regular season 13-5 in the SEC and 21-10 overall, and doesn't have to play its first game in the SEC Tournament until next Friday.

Michael Brauner is a senior sports analyst and contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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