Bama Upsets No. 8 Volunteers


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Alonzo Gee


By: Thomas Fitch, UA Media Relations

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - The Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team pulled off an impressive 92-79 victory over the No. 8 ranked Tennessee Volunteers (19-5, 10-3 SEC) Saturday afternoon in front of  a sellout crowd of 15, 194 at Coleman Coliseum. It was Alabama’s first win against a Top 10 ranked team since its 2004 NCAA tournament win against then No. 1 ranked Stanford.

The Crimson Tide (15-9, 8-4) started the game off shooting 76% from the field (19 of 25) for the first half.

The game remained fairly close during the first half, until the Tide began a 19-1 run at the 11:31 mark. The Tide was able to hold the Volunteers to only one free throw during four minutes of play.

Tennessee’s Major Wingate went 1 for 2 from the free throw line, ending the Volunteers scoring drought. Alabama was able to go into half-time with a 57-41 lead over the Volunteers. Alabama led the Volunteers throughout the second half, ending the game with a 13 point lead.

The Tide led Tennessee in several different statistical categories throughout the game, including rebounds and free throws. Alabama out rebounded the Volunteers 40-31 and shot 28 out of 30 (93%) from the free throw line, while Tennessee hit 11 out of 19 from the line.

Ronald Steele led the Tide in scoring, hitting 6 out of 11 from the field for 22 points, including a perfect 9-for-9 performance from the free throw line. Jermareo Davidson was the Tide’s second leading scorer, adding 17.

"The crowd was big for us because they came out and supported us and got us going,” Davidson said. “We came out and played hard and everybody contributed.”

The Volunteers were led in scoring by Chris Lofton, who scored 22 points, hitting 6 out of 8 three point field goals. C.J. Watson scored 13 points for the Volunteers.

“They hit us on the boards and we got out rebounded,” Watson said. “That hurt us the most.”

Alabama will travel to face SEC West foe Arkansas (17-8, 6-6 SEC) on the road Tuesday, Feb. 21. The game will be televised on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. central standard time.