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January 26, 2013

No-call on last shot results in Tide loss

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. | Trevor Releford said he didn't really see it.

Anthony Grant said he'd need to see the film before he would say whether or not it was a good call.

Cuonzo Martin said, with a smile, it was a "great call." Jarnell Stokes said he didn't think it was a foul, but he thought there was going to be a foul called.

But when Alabama's Trevor Lacey went up for a last-second shot, drawing contact from Stokes with his team down a point, the official closest to the play didn't make a call, letting time expire and allowing Tennessee to hang on for a 54-53 win Saturday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"I have to go back on film before I comment on that," UA coach Grant said. "I want to see it again."

"I didn't really get to see it," Releford said, "so I mean, that call is up to the ref at the end of the game."

Releford led Alabama (12-7, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) with 18 points, Lacey had 11 and Rodney Cooper added 10.

Stokes took control for Tennessee (10-8, 2-4) down the stretch, scoring 15 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. Jordan McRae had a team-high 17 points.

"All credit goes to Tennessee," Grant said, "they made plays they had to make."

"We got hurt on the backboard, got hurt at the free-throw line and just didn't come up with enough plays to be able to win it."

Tennessee outrebounded Alabama 37-22.

The Crimson Tide went 5 of 11 from the free-throw line, but it was the no-call as the clock ran out that didn't give Alabama a chance to win it on foul shots.

Alabama inbounded with 11 seconds to go before Lacey went up for a shot from the left wing. Stokes, with arms extended, made contact with the Alabama guard as the horn sounded.

The only whistle that blew, though, was the one signaling the end of the contest.

"I definitely thought they were calling a foul," Stokes said. "I definitely didn't jump, but a lot of those calls usually go in guards' favor.

"It wasn't a foul. I didn't move my feet. I didn't leave my feet."

A Stokes layup with 3:31 left in the game that gave Tennessee a 48-47 lead, its first since the opening minutes.

Tennessee built a 50-47 lead on a Stokes jumper, but Lacey tied it on the other end with a 3.

The Vols stretched the lead to 54-50 before Releford responded with a 3 of his own to cut the lead to one with 19 seconds left.

Golden missed the front end of a one-and-one before Alabama took possession off the inbound to set up the final play.

Alabama led by as many as 10, at 25-15 late in the first half, before Tennessee went on a 9-0 run bridging halftime to get back in it.

"It was a tough loss," Releford said. "I think our team came out and they played hard, and that's all you can ask for.

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