Dec. 21, 2013
Box Score |
Alabama and Xavier played for the sixth time in series history on Saturday night. The Musketeers evened the series at 3-3 with their 77-74 victory.
Alabama was outrebounded, 38-34, on the night. The Tide falls to 0-5 when it losses the battle of the boards.
Xavier owned a 17-8 edge in offensive rebounds, which resulted in a huge 19-9 advantage in second-chance points.
The Tide has now lost 18 straight games when giving up 70 or more points to the opposition. The last time an Alabama team won a game when allowing 70 or more points came on March 3, 2010 when the Tide defeated South Carolina, 79-70.
Freshman forward Shannon Hale finished with a career-best 14 points on the night. He also established career highs with threes made (3), threes attempted (5), field goals made (5) and field goals attempted (7).
Junior guard Rodney Cooper recorded nine points and eight rebounds vs. Xavier. He is now averaging 13.0 points and 5.3 rebounds a game over his past three contests. He scored 43 points over his first eight games of the year and has accounted for a total of 39 points over his last three contests.
The Tide lost by three points, 77-74, and drops to 0-6 this year in games decided by 10 or fewer points. Alabama was leading by seven, 57-50, with 8:30 left, but Xavier went on an 18-6 run over the next 3:24 to lead, 68-63 with 3:06 left.
Alabama held a seven point lead at intermission, 33-26, and lost for the second time this season when holding a halftime lead (5-2).
Trevor Releford led Alabama with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. It is the fourth time he led the Crimson Tide in scoring and was his 10th double-digit scoring game this season.
Xavier scored 51 points in the second half, which were the most points allowed in a half this season.
Xavier came into game 32nd in the nation in three-point shooting offense (40.1 percent), while Alabama ranked 16th nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense, holding teams to 26.9 percent. The Musketeers connected on 5-of-15 of its shots (33.3 percent) from beyond the arc, including 4-of-7 over the final 20 minutes.
Alabama will return to action after the Christmas holiday when it travels West to take on the nationally-ranked UCLA Bruins on Saturday, Dec. 28, at 9 p.m. CT (7 p.m. PT) on ESPN2. It will mark just the second time the Tide will make the trip to Pauley Pavilion, with the first coming on Jan. 28, 1982 when Alabama stunned then-No. 1 UCLA, 70-67.