March 12, 2011
ATLANTA - The Alabama men's basketball team dropped a 72-58 decision to the No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Georgia Dome Saturday.
Sophomore forward Tony Mitchell led the Crimson Tide with 16 points to go with six rebounds while junior forward JaMychal Green added 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Freshman guard Trevor Releford totaled 10 points and four assists for Alabama (21-11).
"I thought Kentucky was very good today," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "They came out right from the beginning and from an offensive standpoint they had their sets early and we were playing catch up really for the entire game."
Alabama pulled within six at 21-15 following a Mitchell free throw at the 9:04 mark of the first half, but could get no closer the rest of the way. Kentucky (24-8) closed the half by outscoring the Tide 16-6 to take a 37-21 lead into intermission.
Alabama scored the first four points of the second half on back-to-back buckets by Releford and Mitchell to cut the Wildcat lead to 12. However, Kentucky outscored the Tide 26-13 over the next 11:24 to stretch its lead to 25 points. Alabama was able to cut into the Wildcat advantage down the stretch with a 13-3 run over the final 3:13.
"I'm proud of the fight we showed," Grant said. "The thing we talked about was playing 40 minutes. That's what we have to do every game and I thought our guys did that today. I'm looking forward to whatever lies ahead."