Tide vanquishes Vols, heads to SEC semis
SEC tournament win over Tennessee before an announced crowd of 15,649 at Bridgestone Arena. Now,
the Tide must face the top-seeded Florida Gators in a Saturday semifinal.
“We knew we’d have to come out, and compete at a high level today. I’m really proud of our guys for
answering the bell,” said Tide coach Anthony Grant. “It was a hotly-contested game, and a good win.
Our guys answered everything that came at them.
“I thought we got great efforts out of everybody that went on the court today. Everybody did a great
job, and not necessarily just what shows up on the stat sheet. Nick Jacobs came in and got some great
Said Vols coach Cuonzo Martin, “Well-fought game by both teams. Both teams competed. They made
the plays down the stretch.”
Junior guard Trevor Releford scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half. He was joined in double digits
by Levi Randolph, who led his team with 15 points to go with five rebounds. Sophomore center Jacobs
grabbed a career-high 12 boards to go with six points.
Randolph said, “We tried to limit their second-chance points. When the ball went up, we wanted to
block out and get the rebound.” The Vols won the battle of the boards, but only 37-35. Tennessee out-
boarded Bama by a total of 30 in two combined regular season games.
Josh Richardson scored 16 to lead the Vols, and post man Jarnell stokes grabbed 13 boards but
was held to a dozen points. The 6-8, 255-pound sophomore was quick to tip his hat to the Tide center
tandem of Moussa Gueye and Jacobs. Stokes said, “Anytime a team plays a zone, it’s hard for a big man
to score. I think they did a good job of getting out of their press and into their zone. (Jacobs) is a physical
guy. They did a good job of double-teaming me and controlling the glass, especially in the first half.”
Martin said, “I thought Jarnell did a good job around the rim, but they had four or five guys hovering
around him. They did a good job sagging on (Stokes), and we didn’t go a good job of hitting our open
shots.” The Vols finished 5-23 (21.7%) on 3-point attempts.
Alabama (21-11) jumped out to an 8-4 lead, then saw Tennessee (20-12) score nine straight during
an 11-2 run. The Tide responded with 12-2 run of its own to go up 22-20 with just under seven minutes
left in the half. At intermission, Alabama led 31-27, as Releford nailed a trey with three ticks to go. Retin
Obasohan came off the bench to score seven of his nine points in the first half to keep his team in the
game. The Tide made 67 per cent behind the arc (4-6 ) in the first 20 minutes. The first half featured
three ties and four lead changes.
The Vols rallied in the second half to narrow Alabama’s lead to 50-46 at the 5:27 mark, but key
defensive stops and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch by Randolph and Rodney Cooper
allowed the Tide to pull away late. Tip time for the Bama/Gators matchup Saturday is set for noon CT,
and the game will be televised by ABC.
“We’re trying to get an SEC (tourney) championship. We know if we take care of that, we’ll be fine
(as far as the NCAA Tourney),” said Releford.
“I’m excited our team is still alive, and has a chance to advance in the (SEC) tournament,” Grant said.
“Florida is a very good team, and it’s just a matter of getting prepared for them by tomorrow.
“Nothing else really matters.”
About The Author
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.