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December 21, 2012TUSCALOOSA | The University of Alabama men's basketball team will try to gather a little more holiday momentum today when it hosts Mercer in its final game before the Christmas break.
The Crimson Tide won at Texas Tech on Wednesday to break a three-game losing streak. Mercer is coming off a 58-49 defeat at Georgia on Tuesday but has a victory over Florida State and dropped a 74-71 decision to Wake Forest last month.
"They have a deep team and are extremely well-coached," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "Defensively, they have done a great job on the year holding opponents to under 40 percent from the floor and about 55 points a game. They are forcing teams into about 18 turnovers a game, so I am very impressed with their defense."
Alabama built a big lead over Texas Tech and held off a second-half rally for a 66-62 victory.
"It's a great confidence boost. No one likes to lose, and from the three-game losing streak we learned we need to come out with energy and stay aggressive throughout the game," guard Trevor Lacey said. "We want to play the entire 40 minutes the way we started the game at Texas Tech."
Grant was pleased with how UA bounced back from dropping three games in a row.
"I thought our guys really showed great composure during the losing streak," he said. "They have really listened to us in terms of them needing to do some things better as a team. I felt like all the way through we've understood what we needed to do. I think they've tried to do the things that myself or our staff have asked them to do. It's always rewarding when the outcome is in your favor."