Bama Snaps Losing Streak to Commodores with 77-74 Overtime Victory



Bama Snaps Losing Streak to Commodores with 77-74 Overtime Victory

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

By Kyle Murphy, UA Media Relations


TUSCALOOSA ?? The University of Alabama snapped its four game losing streak to the Vanderbilt Commodores Wednesday night with a thrilling 77-74 overtime victory at Coleman Coliseum.

The win was the first for the Crimson Tide over the Commodores since January 9, 2002 when Bama posted a 92-79 victory over Vandy in Tuscaloosa.

Vanderbilt rode a strong three point performance in the second half to push the momentum in its favor in the closing minutes of the game. The Commodores shot 9-for-15 (60%) from three point land in the second half compared to its 3-for-10 (30%) effort in the first half.

Alabama, however, would not be denied in the closing seconds of the ballgame. Down 65-63 with 8.3 seconds left in regulation, Jean Felix hit a clutch three to put the Tide up by one, 66-65. Vandy’s three-point threat Shan Foster would quiet the crowd on the Commodores’ next possession, hitting one of his six three pointers of the night to put Vanderbilt back on top, 68-66.

With 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation, Felix hit freshman Richard Hendrix on a full court inbounds pass. Hendrix then found freshman Alonzo Gee, who slammed home a buzzer beater dunk to tie the game and send it into overtime.

The Tide hit seven free throws in overtime to help outscore Vanderbilt 9-6 in the extra period, and secure Bama’s sixth SEC victory.

Free throw shooting was very instrumental in Alabama’s victory, with the Tide hitting 18 of 19 shots (94.7%) from the foul line. After Gee missed the first attempt of the night, Bama was perfect from the line the rest of the game, hitting 18 straight. Vanderbilt was 5-for-9 from the line.

Alabama was led by Ronald Steele, who had 22 points. Steele was 7-for-11 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Jermareo Davidson posted a double-double for the Tide, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Gee added 17 points, including the dunk to send the game into overtime.

Foster led the Commodores and all scorers with 30 points. He was 11-for-20 from the field including his 6-for-13 night from the three point line. All of Foster’s three pointers came in the second half.

“Well first of all I am so proud of our guys,” said Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried.

“You have to give Vanderbilt a lot of credit. Foster was great for them tonight. The game just came down to a few big time plays. Jean Felix made a great pass with two seconds left in regulation and Richard Hendrix made a great play getting the ball to Alonzo Gee. We were lucky to make one more play than they did tonight.”

The Tide (13-8, 6-3 SEC) will embark on a two game road trip that begins Saturday with a rematch against SEC West foe Ole Miss. Bama lost to the Rebels in its first SEC game of the year, 71-61 on January 7. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. Alabama will then travel to Columbia, South Carolina on Tuesday, February 14 to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN.