Against Alabama Basketball Saturday night, the Houston Cougars owned the glass. In the last instant of the game, Crimson Tide freshman, J.D. Davison rose up and swatted away a missed Houston putback, to seal the win for the Crimson Tide.
Kelvin Sampson and his team protested, chased after the exiting officials, and left Nate Oats with an empty outstretched hand. The Cougars thought Davison’s swat was goaltending. Replays showed clearly it was not. It could not have been reviewed by the officials anyway because they did not call goaltending during live action.
The end result was an Alabama Basketball win, 83-82 over Houston. Too much will be said about the ending. Not enough will be said about the game. It was a toe-to-toe, 94-foot war, throughout. The Cougars landed more blows than they took, and still, the Crimson Tide found a way to win.
Speaking after the game, Nate Oats said,
"That was an unbelievable game. It was great for the fans. I appreciate all the fans that showed up.Our guys showed a lot of fight, that’s the most physical game that they’ll probably be involved in all year."
A total of 49 fouls were called in the game. With the exception of a phantom call late on Jaden Shackelford, the officiating crew had little choice but to blow whistles. It was the type of game when attempts at finesse were most often, wasted possessions. Call the game a 40-minute gut check and you would not be wrong.
The Alabama basketball team did a fair job on the glass, losing the total rebound battle by nine boards. Houston came close to winning by dominating offensive boards, with 21, to the Crimson Tide’s seven. That gave the Cougars 23 second-chance points to just eight for the Crimson Tide.
Taking about the rebounding, Oats said,
"We’re all displeased with it (the rebounding). We got our butts kicked on the glass. Some of our bigs didn’t rebound the ball well enough."
The bigs not rebounding is an understatement. J.D. Davison with nine rebounds and Jaden Shackelford with eight boards led the Tide. Charles Bediako and Noah Gurley combined for two rebounds.
It took more than three-balls for Alabama Basketball
The Cougars took 23 more shots than the Tide. Houston shot 26, threes, making nine. The designed Houston defense took away many of the Tide’s three-point shot opportunities, leading to just 18 attempts for the Tide, with seven makes.
The foul line was where the Tide overcame all deficiencies. With a mixture of Nate Oats scheme and good shooting, the Tide was plus-13 points at the foul line, making 24-of-31, for 77 percent. The Cougars shot 19 from the line, making 11.
Speaking about the last second, goaltending non-call, Oats said,
"If I was in their shoes, I would be looking for a goaltending, too."
Maybe when Kelvin Sampson sees that statement, he might be more willing to exchange a post-game handshake.
Juwan Gary led the Crimson Tide in scoring with 19 points, followed by Jaden Shackelford with 18 points and Jahvon Quinerly with 17. J.D. Davison added 10 points.