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December 18, 2012
Tide tries to snap skid
TUSCALOOSA | The University of Alabama men's basketball team will look to snap a three-game losing streak when it travels to Lubbock, Texas, to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 7 tonight. It will be the final nonconference road game for the Crimson Tide.
"Texas Tech plays similar to VCU from a defensive standpoint," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "They are going to press a lot. I think they are forcing 19 turnovers a game. They play very fast offensively, meaning after a missed shot or made basket, they are going to get the ball down the court fast. We have to be able to be able to take care of the basketball and execute offensively. We also have to get back defensively to prevent them from scoring in transition. It's a similar prep to what we just faced."
After beginning the season with six wins in November, the Crimson Tide (6-3) has lost three straight. In order to snap that streak, Alabama will have to do better when it comes to taking care of the ball. During the streak, the Tide is averaging 14.0 turnovers per game, including a season-high 18 in a 73-54 loss at Virginia Commonwealth last Saturday.
Trevor Releford leads UA in scoring (15.9 points per game) and steals (17). He is also one of the top 3-point shooters (44.8 percent) and free-throw shooters (89.5 percent) in the Southeastern Conference.
Rodney Cooper is second on the team in scoring with 13.5 points per game and leads the team with 4.7 rebounds per game. Trevor Lacey contributes 13.4 points per game and leads the team in assists per game (3.8) and 3s made (19). His 45.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc leads Alabama and ranks second in the SEC.
Texas Tech (5-2) has lost two of its last three games, most recently falling at home to McNeese State, 80-75, on Sunday.
Junior forward Jaye Crocket leads a trio of Texas Tech players who average in double figures with 15.6 points per game. Crocket also leads the team in rebounds per game (8.6), field goal percentage (64.1 percent) and free-throw percentage (79.3 percent).
Freshman guard Josh Gray (11.9) and junior forward Dejan Kravic (11.3) are Texas Tech's other top scorers. Gray leads in assists (2.9) and steals (3.0) per game, while Kravic is the Red Raiders' top shot-blocker with 11 this season.