Men's Basketball Defeats Yale 66-63

Dec. 28, 2008

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - TUSCALOOSA, Ala.-The University of Alabama men's basketball team improved to 8-3 on the season with a 66-63 victory over Yale (2-7) at Coleman Coliseum Sunday night.

Yale got within one point in the final minute of the game but never took the lead thanks to clutch free throw shooting from the Crimson Tide down the stretch. Alabama made 7-8 free throws in the final 30 seconds including two by sophomore Senario Hillman with three seconds left to seal the victory.

"Everything is a learning experience," head coach Mark Gottfried said. "I definitely think there are some positives to come out of tonight's game. I think one of the main things is our understanding of the score and the time. We were able to eliminate time off the clock when we needed to and hit free throws down the stretch."

The foul line proved to be the difference in the game as the Tide went 17-21 from the stripe compared to 10-15 for the Bulldogs.

Four Alabama players scored in double figures led by senior Alonzo Gee's 20 points. Gee also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds to notch a double-double. Hillman finished the game with 18 points, while senior Ronald Steele added 16 along with seven rebounds and six assists.

"As a point guard, when you have Alonzo Gee and Senario Hillman on the wing it makes life a lot easier," Steele said. "They are two of the best players in our league and probably the country. They are playing at a high level right now, and I'm thankful I have them on my team."

Freshman JaMychal Green narrowly missed a double-double of his own with 10 points and nine rebounds. Green left the game at the 10:25 mark in the second half after taking a blow to the head and did not return.

"JaMychal coming out of the game hurt us a little bit after he got hit in the head," Gottfried said. "He has been playing really well on offense. We need to make sure he keeps playing well because that is going to help us win games."

Junior Yamene Coleman made his presence felt on the defensive end posting a team-high three steals and a career-high six blocks. Hillman also came up with three steals for the Tide which had nine steals as a team.

Alabama ended the first half on a 10-0 run capped by an alley-oop from Hillman to Gee as time expired to take a 36-25 lead into the break. Gee paced the Crimson Tide with 15 points in the first frame. Alabama went a perfect 9-9 from the foul line prior to intermission.

Ross Morin led Yale with 20 points on 9-18 shooting from the floor. Travis Pinick posted a double-double for the Bulldogs with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Alabama returns to the floor Tuesday, Dec. 30 against Quincy on at Coleman Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT.