November 9, 2010 8:02:00 AM
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama men''s basketball team finished its exhibition schedule Monday with a 73-68 double overtime win against the University of Alabama in Huntsville at Coleman Coliseum.
"You have to start off by saying it was an unbelievable effort and unbelievable job by the Alabama-Huntsville kids," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "Those guys came in and right from the very beginning set the tone of the game. We talked before the game we needed to try to get the game up tempo. I thought they came out and attacked us early. They got some threes against our press and were extremely aggressive. When you play a team like this, you worry about your guys getting frustrated with the style of play."
Freshman guard Trevor Releford led Alabama with 22 points. Junior forward JaMychal Green had 16 points, senior guard Senario Hillman added 15 points, and sophomore forward Tony Mitchell had 11. Hillman added five assists and five steals, both of which were game highs.
The Crimson Tide trailed 20-12 with 11 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the first half. The eight-point lead matched the Chargers largest lead of the game. It wasn''t until 4:13 remaining in the first half that Alabama used an 8-2 run to close the half and pull within 28-26.
With 16:32 to go in the second half, Mitchell connected on two free-throws to give Alabama its first lead since the 19:10 mark in the first half. It was a back-and-forth game from that point on. A couple of minutes later, the Tide opened up its largest lead, 41-36.
With a little more than two minutes to go, UAH evened the score at 54 on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Jaime Smith. From that point, there were two ties and three lead changes with the final tie coming with 25 seconds remaining on a tip-in by sophomore guard Xavier Baldwin to send the game into overtime.
Alabama got on the scoreboard first in the extra period on a three-pointer by Releford 50 seconds in. The Crimson Tide''s lead was cut to one with 1:46 remaining on a jumper by junior guard Josh Magette. The game was tied just 36 seconds later on a 3-pointer by Smith that sent the game into a second overtime.
UAH jumped out in front in the next extra period on a jumper by sophomore forward Zane Campbell. Alabama grabbed the lead with 2:24 to go on two made free throws by Releford. From there, the Crimson Tide opened up a five-point lead with nine seconds remaining on a dunk by Green that ended the game.
Smith had 19 points to lead the Chargers, while Campbell had 18 points and 13 rebounds.
"In the first half, we got exposed in some areas," Grant said. "It was a great learning experience. It was a great game as we prepare for the start of the season."
Alabama will play Florida A&M at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Coleman Coliseum.
1. Howland completes first coaching staff at MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Prescott embraces return to football practice COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU baseball begins weekend with shutout losses to Auburn COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU looks to build on historic women's basketball season COLLEGE SPORTS