Tide wins exhibition game against UAHBy Laura Owens | 11/07/2011 11:04pm
The Alabama men’s basketball team started off its season by unofficially keeping its home winning streak alive with a 67-60 win against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in Coleman Coliseum.
“I think coming into the game, the thing I tried to emphasize to the guys was there needed to be a great sense of urgency in terms of our ability to defend their action,” head coach Anthony Grant said. “Very difficult team to defend…I thought overall we did a pretty good job on the defensive end.”
With an attendance of 11,662 on Monday night, senior JaMychal Green was the team’s leading scorer with 21 points, making eight field goals and one three-pointer. Sophomore Tony Mitchell led the team in rebounding with 10, eight of those defensive. Mitchell also had 13 points, giving him a double-double.
For the game, the team shot 49 percent from the field and 41 percent behind the arc. Five different Crimson Tide players made a three-pointer, including freshmen Rodney Cooper and Trevor Lacey, sophomores Trevor Releford and Charles Hankerson and senior JaMychal Green.
Defensively, Alabama held UAH to 39 percent field goal shooting and 26 percent in three-point shots.
In typical early-season Grant fashion, the five players actually playing rotated in rapid succession. While the starters for the game were Green, Mitchell, Releford, Cooper and freshman Levi Randolph, 11 total players saw the court in the exhibition game.
“It was good just to see different lineups and different guys in different situations,” Grant said. “As we move forward, I told the guys it gets for real now. It’s good to be able to kind of get a feel for what guys are comfortable doing and maybe some lineups that we can tinker with.”
All five of the Tide’s freshmen saw playing time, with Cooper being the leading scorer at eight points, having hit two three-pointers. Cooper also had seven rebounds, two blocks and one steal.
At halftime, Alabama led the Chargers 34-26. A UAH three-pointer at the end of the half closed the gap slightly, but the Tide still kept them to 40 percent shooting in field goals and 31 percent in three-point attempts in the half.
Offensively in the first half, Alabama shot 48 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc. Green led the team in points with 10, and Mitchell led the team with five rebounds.
Much like last year’s game against UAH, there were only a few comfortable leads. The Chargers came out strong in the second half, cutting Alabama’s lead to as few as three points, but Alabama’s defensive effort prevailed, and the Tide never lost the lead.
Green had one technical foul after he finished an ally-oop in the second half. There were no players on either side that fouled out, though Randolph came close with four personal fouls. The Chargers did have 22 free throw attempts, and Grant said fouling was something the team would need to work on.
“We fouled way too much,” Grant said. “When you look at their three-point shooting, they went 5-for-19, which on the surface looks like a great number, but in reality, you got to add another three or four because we fouled them in the act of shooting three’s. So those are conversions.”
Alabama’s first regular season game is this Friday in Coleman Coliseum against North Florida with tip off at 7 p.m.