The Alabama basketball program celebrated its one hundredth season on Saturday, and in dramatic fashion, Trevor Releford chipped in his memorable moment. Releford drilled a half-court shot as time expired to lift Alabama (20-11, 12-6 SEC) over the Georgia Bulldogs (15-16, 9-9 SEC).
In his post-game press conference, Anthony Grant showed excitement about the win, but said, “the coach in me won’t let me get over some of the breakdowns we had.” Although it was a rough ride for the Crimson Tide, but they pulled out the victory. Today’s win marks the third straight year that an Anthony Grant coached team has finished with twenty wins.
The Crimson Tide came out strong, outscoring the Bulldogs 32-18 in the first half. Aided by great shooting from outside by Trevor Releford, and their great defense, but Alabama’s dominance was short-lived in the second half. The Bulldogs found their offensive game in the second half and outscored the Tide 40-29, but Alabama’s defense held on in the waining moments to give Trevor Releford the opportunity for a game winning shot.
Trevor Releford led all scorers with 19 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. Nick Jacobs was the only other Tide player to score in double figures. He finished with 11 points and 5 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.
Rodney Cooper and Trevor Lacey both added 5 points, and Levi Randolph added 7 points and 3 rebounds. Retin Obasohan continued his streak of impressive games off the bench. The redshirt freshman guard was able to tack on 7 points in 19 minutes of play.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with 14 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists to lead Georgia’s offensive attack. Nemanja Djurisic and Charles Mann added 14 points and 11 points off the bench respectively.
Andrew Steele, Alabama’s only scholarship senior, was recognized before the game and the crowd at Coleman Coliseum gave Steele and his family a standing ovation. Steele was given several gifts to thank him for his devoted service as both a player and a coach under Anthony Grant. Unfortunately, Andrew Steele didn’t see any playing time in his final game in Tuscaloosa. Steele was granted a fifth year of eligibility after returning from a string of concussions last year that were originally thought to be career ending.
With the win on Saturday, and a loss by Missouri to Tennesee, Alabama secured a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee. The tournament kicks off on March 13 and concludes with the SEC Championship Game on March 17. The first and quarterfinal rounds will be televised across SEC Network affiliates and the semifinals and finals will be broadcasted on ABC.
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