Men's Basketball Beats Wichita State, 70-60
Nov. 18, 2011
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The No. 16/15 Alabama Men's Basketball team won its fourth game of the season and its second in as many days in downing the Wichita State Shockers, 70-60 Friday night to advance to the finals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Crimson Tide faces Purdue in Sunday's championship game at 6:30 p.m. CST on ESPN2.
"We're excited about the opportunity to play for a championship," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "That was the goal coming in. I thought it was a great effort tonight. I'm proud of the way our guys played and the focus and intensity they showed."
Junior forward Tony Mitchell led all scorers with 26 points, one shy of his career best, coming on a mix of midrange jumpers and thunderous dunks. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
After shooting just 34.5 percent in the first half, Alabama stepped up its game, shooting 54.2 percent in the second half led by senior forward JaMychal Green who scored a majority of his 15 points in the second half.
"I was just able to get deep post positions and my teammates did a great job of finding me and then I did what I do best and laid the ball in," Green said. "When they double teamed me I just tried to find guys open and they did a good job of knocking down shots."
In addition to his scoring, Green grabbed a game-best 11 rebounds while sophomore point guard Trevor Releford added 15 points to give the Tide a trio of scorers in double figures.
Alabama also clamped down defensively in the second half, holding the Shockers to just 27 percent from the field after WSU shot 42.9 in the first half. Four UA players combined to block a tournament record 14 shots, second all-time for the Tide, during the game, led by freshman forward Nick Jacobs, who swatted five while Green and Mitchell added four and three respectively.
With the win, the Tide is now 3-2 all-time against Wichita State after the Shockers tied the series with a win in last year's NIT Championship game.