Jan. 13, 2010
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Senior guard Mikhail Torrance scored a game-high 23 points but it wasn't enough as the Alabama men's basketball team lost a down-to-the-wire 65-64 decision to the Vanderbilt Commodores Wednesday at Coleman Coliseum.
Vanderbilt's Jeffrey Taylor made one-of-two free throws with six seconds left to give the Commodores a 65-64 lead.
"At the end of the day, I told our guys the game was coming down to our ability to defend and rebound," UA coach Anthony Grant said. "We gave up some second-chance opportunities there. Our turnovers really hurt us in the second half. Down the stretch it was a parade down there to the free throw line. We weren't able to get the stops that we needed."
With the score tied at 62, Vanderbilt's Jermaine Beal knocked down a 15-foot baseline jumper to give the Commodores the lead with 45 seconds to go. Following a timeout, Alabama sophomore forward JaMychal Green calmly made two free throws to tie the score at 64 at the 35-second mark.
After another timeout, Vanderbilt's Taylor was fouled by freshman forward Tony Mitchell in a non-shooting situation with six seconds left. After missing the first foul shot, he made the second to give the Commodores a 65-64 lead.
Following an Alabama timeout, senior guard Anthony Brock took the inbounds pass the length of the floor before putting up a running jump shot that missed its mark. Green grabbed the rebound but could not get off a shot with the ball falling to the floor as time expired.
"I think we played pretty well, but in games like this you want to be able to put it away," Torrance said. "We had a couple of chances to ice the game late and didn't take advantage. That's the way basketball goes sometimes. The experience will help us the next time we're in this situation."
Even though Green only logged 20 minutes of game time due to foul trouble, he notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Mitchell added 10 points and seven rebounds while junior guard Senario Hillman, who was also plagued by foul trouble, scored nine points.
Alabama led the entire first half and for 11:33 of the second half before Vanderbilt took its first lead. The Crimson Tide shot a crisp 15-of-26 (57.7%) in the first half but only 10-of-27 (37%) in the second half to let the Commodores back into the game. Both teams struggled at the free throw line with Alabama making 10-of-17 (58.8%) while Vanderbilt connected on just 20-of-37 (54.1%)
"We went to the half with a seven-point lead," Grant said. "I thought our guys did a good job of playing in spite of the foul trouble we were in. We got some good minutes off the bench. Chris Hines came in and gave us some good energy, as did Tony Mitchell and the other guys that came in."
Alabama was plagued by foul trouble over the game's final stretch with Green and Hillman both picking up their fourth fouls around the 8:00 mark. Torrance picked up his fourth foul with 3:19 remaining followed by Hillman fouling out just 23 seconds later.
Taylor and A.J. Ogilvy both scored 13 points to lead the Commodores who overcame a 40-22 differential in the paint even though it was the taller team on the floor.
Alabama travels to Arkansas Saturday for its next game with tip-off set for 12:30 p.m.