Sunday, February 5, 2012
Alabama Survives Double OT with Rebels
The unsung heroes of Alabama Basketball helped save the day for the Crimson Tide again as 'Bama survived a barrage of 3 pointers from a hot shooting Ole Miss squad.
The likes of Andrew Steele and the inspired play of Charles Hankerson, coupled with Nick Jacobs rebounding kept Alabama in a position to win despite their offensive struggles. Hankerson's 10 points in the middle of the 2nd half allowed Alabama to claw back from a 7 point deficit and the win in Coleman was sealed when Steele hit an off balance 19 foot jumper as the shot clock expired in the second overtime to seal the win. Steele also made the right, unselfish play a minute early as 'Bama, nursing a 1 point lead, came up with a Trevor Releford steal which led to a 2 on 1 situation for Steele and Tony Mitchell that produced another high flying dunk and a 3 point lead.
Although he didn't start and rumors were swirling about possible suspensions, Tony Mitchell played inspired defense coming off the bench, produced two highlight reel dunks and a big put back in OT. Couple that with the effort of Jaymichael Green and Trevor Releford, Alabama looked very similar to the team that fans came to enjoy watching last year and the one they wanted to see this year.
Disruptive, pressure defense led to several steals and easy baskets that Alabama definently needed to produce more points on offense.
Now sitting at 4-4 in the SEC, Alabama will get in the NCAA easily at 5-3 down the stretch, but another 4-4 run will lead them to sweating out selection Sunday. This week the Tide goes on the road to Auburn and LSU. Both games are winnable and both games have potential to be disasters. At worst, Alabama needs a split this week before FLorida comes to T-Town for a Valentine's Day game next week.