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November 10, 2012TUSCALOOSA | The University of Alabama men's basketball team will look to follow a thrilling finish with a quick turnaround this afternoon as it hosts West Alabama in its second game of the season.
The game is the second contest in the Tuscaloosa Regional of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. The Crimson Tide and Tigers are set to tip off at 4 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum.
The Crimson Tide won its opener against South Dakota State on Friday night, coming back from a 13-point first-half deficit to take a 70-67 victory thanks to Trevor Lacey's 3-point shot as time expired.
"There were a lot of areas where we need improvement, but I was pleased with our effort," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said after that game. "I think our guys did a great job of trying to get their opportunities. They responded well when they got down early. We stayed together, we kept fighting and our defense got us back into it before the half."
Junior preseason first-team All-Southeastern Conference honoree Trevor Releford came off the bench to lead Alabama with 18 points, while sophomore Rodney Cooper had 17 and Lacey finished with 15. The Crimson Tide reserves outscored South Dakota State's bench 33-8 for the contest.
Alabama made all 14 of its free throw attempts.
West Alabama will be playing its first game of the season this afternoon. UWA returns three starters from last season's 8-20 team. Senior guard Steven Samuels led the squad a year ago in points (14.1), rebounds (6.4) and assists (4.4) per game.
Alabama will advance, win or lose, to Thursday's 2K semifinals in Madison Square Garden in New York City. UA will face Oregon State in that contest, then face either Purdue or Villanova on Friday.