Men's Basketball Downs Arkansas, 73-68
Feb. 13, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala - Sophomore forward JaMychal Green scored a game-high 22 points with nine rebounds to lead the Alabama men's basketball team to a come-from-behind 73-68 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday before a crowd of 13,151 at Coleman Coliseum.
Senior guard Anthony Brock nailed a three pointer that gave the Crimson Tide a 67-65 lead with 2:09 left in the second half. From there Alabama connected on all six of its free throw attempts over the game's final 31 seconds to seal the victory.
The Crimson Tide snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 14-11 (4-7 SEC). The Razorbacks drop to 13-12 (6-4 SEC), as their five-game win streak comes to a halt.
"I thought our guys really gutted it out in the second half," UA head coach Anthony Grant. "I thought three things - the ability to rebound the ball, get to the line and make our free throws and then obviously on the defensive end to get the stops that we needed to win the game - to me that was the difference today."
Alabama found itself trailing at halftime for just the third time in SEC play this season with a 38-29 halftime deficit.
The Tide exited the locker room with renewed purpose and chipped away at that lead for the entirety of the second half. Back-to-back dunks by Green and Hillman gave the Tide a 62-55 lead - its largest of the game - at the 5:32 mark before Arkansas responded with a 10-2 run to take back the lead at 65-64 with 2:27 to go.
Following Brock's big three pointer, Arkansas' Courtney Fortson made one-of-two free throws with 35.8 seconds to go to pull the Razorbacks within one. Arkansas immediately fouled Torrance, who calmly knocked down both free throws to give Alabama a 69-66 lead with 31 seconds remaining.
A missed jumper by the Razorbacks' Marshawn Powell and subsequent foul by Mike Washington on Green proved to be Arkansas' undoing on the following possession.
Green made both free throws with 15 seconds to give the Tide a 71-66 lead. A layup by Fortson cut the margin to three with eight seconds before Brock drained two more free throws with six seconds to seal the deal.
"I think every team has defining moments that you go through," Grant said. "We were struggling there in the first half. My challenge to the team was to find some fight and some togetherness and to come together. We found a way to do that tonight."
The 68 points were the fewest the Razorbacks had scored since a January 21 loss to Florida. The Razorbacks had come in averaging 75 points per game in SEC action, having scored more than 80 points in three of its last four games.
Arkansas connected on its first two shots of the second half to expand its lead to 42-29, but a 9-0 Alabama run over the next 2:41, sliced the margin to 42-38. The Tide pulled even at 45 less than two minutes later on a three pointer by junior guard Charvez Davis, eventually taking the lead at 48-47 after a three point play by Torrance.
Torrance scored the Alabama's next five points to give the Tide a 52-47 advantage midway through the half. The senior guard scored 10 of Alabama's first 23 points in the second half after being held scoreless in the first half.
"Mikhail had a stretch there in the second half where he really put the team on his back and really stepped up, did what a senior is supposed to do, and led our team," Grant said. "I thought it was a total team effort. I am certainly proud of those guys for the fight and the grit and staying together."
The Tide has a week off before traveling to Georgia next Saturday. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.