Men's Basketball Falls to No. 8 Tennessee, 63-56
Jan. 19, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's basketball team dropped a thriller to No. 8 Tennessee, 63- 56, on Tuesday at Coleman Coliseum. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 11-7 (1-3 SEC) on the season while the Vols improve to 15-2 (3-0).
Sophomore forward JaMychal Green recorded his 11th career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds while freshman forward Tony Mitchell flirted with his first career double-double adding 11 points and nine rebounds. Mitchell also notched a career-high five blocks.
The Crimson Tide led the eighth-ranked Vols for most of the first half and held a 25-24 halftime advantage over the Volunteers, but found themselves down 11 points by the 11:20 mark in the second half. Alabama fought their way back, pulling within three points with 1:22 left in the game. That was the closest they would be for the remainder of the night.
"Obviously in the second half (Tennessee) really turned it up," Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said. "I thought we played with great energy, but their energy got the best of us early in the second half. They were able to get out in transition and get on the glass a little bit and that hurt us and put us in a little bit of a hole. I thought our guys did a good job of fighting and putting us in positions where we had opportunities, but we couldn't capitalize on those."
Alabama opened the game with a 9-3 lead in the first four minutes and 30 seconds. Tennessee did not take its first lead until the 5:38 mark on a Bobby Maze two-point jumper. Scotty Hopson extended the Volunteers lead to four points on an emphatic dunk.
After a dunk by Green to open the second half, the crowd was hushed by a six-point spurt by Tennessee, giving the Vols a 30-27 lead. UA junior Chris Hines answered with a one-handed jam to bring the crowd back to life.
The Vols then went on a game-changing 14-4 run over the next six minutes to extend the lead to 11 points, the largest of the night for either squad.
The Tide's defense did hold the most generous team in the SEC, averaging 16.6 assists per game, to a modest eight dishes. Alabama had trouble containing Tennessee's sophomore guard Scotty Hopson who finished the night with a game-high 17 points, including shooting 3-of-5 from behind the arc.
Neither team shot the ball noticeably better than the other with the Tide making 22-of-58 (37.9%) while the Vols made 22-of-56 (39.3%). Both teams struggled from behind the arc with Tennessee going 3-of-10 (30%)and Alabama, 4-of-15 (26.7%).
Alabama continues its three-game home stand on Saturday when they host Mississippi State in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 11:00 a.m.