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December 30, 2012

Tide drops another game in December

The University of Alabama men's basketball team dropped its final game of 2012, a 53-50 setback to Tulane on Sunday in Coleman Coliseum.

The Crimson Tide (7-5) had a chance to tie it at the buzzer, but Rodney Cooper's 3-pointer rimmed out. UA has dropped five of its last six games, including its last three home games. Tulane improves to 11-3.

"We're obviously disappointed in the outcome of the game," UA coach Anthony Grant said. "From an effort standpoint, I thought our guys did the things I asked them to do and had the mentality we needed to have. Unfortunately, tonight things didn't go our way."

Alabama went on two long scoring droughts, and that was one too many. The Tide gave up runs of 12-0 early in the second half and 11-0 late in the game. The last one started with Alabama leading 45-39 with 4:19 remaining.

"What cost us the game was our inability to have consistent success on the offensive end," Grant said. "We had stretches where we went six or seven minutes without scoring a basket and that hurts when a game is this tight."

Grant also said he is still "searching for answers offensively."

Alabama led 45-44 before Tulane senior guard Jordan Callahan drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to give Tulane a five-point lead, 50-45. Alabama cut it to three with Cooper making two free throws, but a turnover by Trevor Releford gave Tulane the ball back, forcing Alabama to foul.

Sophomore forward Nick Jacobs, in his first start of the season, led the Tide with 12 points, three rebounds and two blocks. Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey chipped in 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Releford came into the game as Alabama's leading scorer with an average of 16.3 points per game, but he was held to just six points.

"He tried to take what the defense was giving him today and make everybody better," Grant said. "It was tough to see him struggle today because their defense took away the gaps he's accustomed to having."

Callahan, who is on pace to become Tulane's all-time leading three point shooter, finished 12 points and grabbed four rebounds.

But the Green Wave was led by forward Josh Davis who had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

"He leads our team from an intensity and a will to win standpoint," said Tulane head coach Ed Conroy. "His leadership during our timeouts and in the locker room was probably bigger than his stats."

Alabama went 19-48 (39.6 percent) from the field and 3-15 (20 percent) from behind the three point line. The Tide scored 28 points in the paint to Tulane's 20. The Green Wave shot 18-50 (36 percent) from the field and out rebounded the Tide 33-31 leading to 10 second-chance points.

Alabama returns to action at 3 p.m. Saturday with Oakland coming to Coleman Coliseum, before starting Southeastern Conference play with a trip to Missouri on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 6 p.m.


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