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Alabama Basketball slams home the win against Auburn

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AU_BBallUA_06The Alabama Men’s Basketball team started out strong against rival Auburn and followed through to the end to defeat the Tigers convincingly 73-57.  The Crimson Tide’s defense forced more turnovers (10) than the Tigers managed to score three-pointers (8) while the Alabama offense took control early and never looked back.

The Tide was once again led by junior Levi Randolph with 24 points and a team high nine rebounds followed by senior Trevor Releford with a season-high seven assists, a team-high three steals, and 16 points..  The game marks Releford’s 30th straight game in double figures and 40 out of 41 games.  Junior Rodney Cooper matched Randolph’s nine rebounds and sophomore Retin Obasohan added 13 points including two from beyond the arc.    AU_BBallUA_11

Alabama built a 17 point lead by going on a 20-4 run in the first half. Freshman Shannon Hale added 7 points to the 13 from Randolph but the big story in the first half was the Alabama defense.  The Crimson Tide held the Tigers to their lowest first half point total of the season with 21.

“Levi came out there with great confidence,” senior guardTrevor Releford said. “I credit Levi for stepping up and hitting some big shots when we needed them. That’s the kind of energy we all feed off.” The Tide went in at the half leading 36-21.

In the beginning moments of the second half the Tigers came out with energy and were more aggressive.  It appeared as though the Tide may fall back into their old ways by losing the lead and struggling through the end of the game.  However, that was not the case this time. “We tried to look back on things that we could’ve done better. We tried to use that for the next time we played and tried to go out and get the job done.” Randolph said.  Working together, Releford and Randolph helped to lead the team and take back control with strong defense, drives to the basket, and impressive slam dunks.

AU_BBallUA_26Releford was all smiles on several occasions after he would pass off to Randolph who would then either sunk the three-pointer or drove the lane for the big time slam. “It’s been a while for him since he’s played with that type of confidence and aggression from an offensive standpoint,” Grant said. “It was good to see that tonight.”

Auburn put on the pressure midway through the second half and managed to steal the ball a couple of times and come away with 7-0 run.  The offensive rebounds and full court pressure brought the Tigers within 12 which was as close as the they would get in the second half. Obasohan’s three-pointer and a dunk by Jimmy Taylor swung the momentum back to the Tide.

Anthony Grant is 7-5 against the Tigers but he has yet to lose to Auburn’s head Coach Barbee in Coleman Coliseum.AU_BBallUA_31

Alabama travels to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats on Tuesday for its final road game of the season.  The game will tipoff at 8 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN.

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