Wednesday, March 01, 2006
By Kyle Murphy, UA Media Relations
BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY
After a sloppy first half, the Alabama men’s basketball team bounced back to cap its 2005-2006 home season at Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday night with a 71-61 victory over its arch-rival, the Auburn Tigers.
The game was also “Senior Night”, which saw Tide seniors Jean Felix, Chuck Davis, and Evan Brock, along with managers Josh Gadilhe and Keedric Keith, honored in pre-game ceremonies.
The senior class did not disappoint in its last game on the Coleman Coliseum floor. Jean Felix was one of three Tide players who scored in double figures. He had 13 points and was 5-for-9 from the field, including a highlight behind-the-back dunk in the game’s closing seconds.
Evan Brock wore the number one tonight in honor of his teammate and fellow senior Chuck Davis, who was lost for the season after a knee injury in the January 7 Ole Miss game. Brock finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field. Brock had a highlight of his own in the second half when he slammed home an alley oop dunk from point guard Ronald Steele.
“I am very proud of our guys,” said Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried.
“I thought we had phenomenal atmosphere here tonight. I know our three seniors really appreciated that. I thought Jean Felix and Evan Brock made big plays for us tonight.”
Auburn entered the locker room at the half with a 31-26 advantage, primarily because of poor shooting by the Crimson Tide. Alabama shot 37.5% (9-for-24) in the first half including a 28.6% (2-for-7) effort from three point land.
The Tide improved to 60% (15-for-25) shooting in the second half, yet finished the game shooting 49% (24-49). Bama also shot 29.4% (5-for-17) from behind the three point line. Auburn was outscored by Alabama 45-30 in the second half.
“We won a game where we struggled a little bit,” added Gottfried, “but we found a way to win. Auburn is a tough match up. I thought our defense in the second half was the difference.”
Alabama’s defense in the second half was good enough to hold the Tigers to 33.3% (11-for-13) shooting. Auburn only hit 25% (3-for-12) from three point land. For the game, Auburn shot 37.1% (23-for-62) from the field, 28.6% (8-for-28) from the three point line and 31.3% (7-for-18) from the free throw line.
Alonzo Gee finished the night with a career high 21 points. The freshman forward was 8-for-12 from the field and hit 3 three-pointers. Jermareo Davidson added 14 points for Alabama.
Auburn was led by Ronny LeMelle with 18 points.
The Tide will hit the road for its final regular season game on Saturday when they take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville at 4 p.m. Bama will then await its seed for the SEC Tournament which begins Thursday, March 9 in Nashville.