"Disappointing," was how UA coach Anthony Grant described losing a first-round tournament bye, although he had stronger words for his team's performance, and his own, in the wake of the UA loss. The first-half output for the Crimson Tide, 17 points, was its worst offensive half of the year. Even doubling that output in the second half wasn't enough for UA. "My job is to make sure our team is prepared," Grant said. "We were not." Asked what was lacking in Alabama's game, Grant answered with two words. "Passion. Purpose." "The margin for error is slim in the Southeastern Conference, and we made too many mistakes."
Alabama: In strong position to make the NCAA tournament after wins over Mississippi State, Arkansas and Auburn in its past three games, Alabama gave back some of its cushion on Saturday. The Tide lost 60-51 to Ole Miss even though the Rebels didn't have a single player score more than 10 points. At 20-10 overall and 9-7 in the SEC, Alabama still is in the most secure position of any of the SEC's bubble teams as a result of 10 top 100 RPI wins including marquee non-league victories over Wichita State, VCU and Purdue. Still, the Tide are not safe enough that they definitely can afford an SEC quarterfinal loss next week.
On the final weekend of the regular season, the University of Alabama men's basketball team (20-10, 9-7 SEC) fell at Mississippi (18-12, 8-8 SEC) by a score of 60-51, Saturday afternoon at Tad Smith Coliseum. Senior JaMychal Green recorded his 26th career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide with a dozen points, while junior Andrew Steele added nine.
"I just don't think we came with the right effort and attitude that we needed to," junior guard Andrew Steele said. "Anytime you come like that in this league, regardless of who you play or where you play, you're liable to end up with a loss, and that's what happened to us today."
Terrance Henry scored 10 points and blocked a 3-point shot in the final 30 seconds to help preserve Mississippi's 60-51 win over Alabama on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams. Jarvis Summers and LaDarius White added 10 points apiece for the Rebels (18-12, 8-8 Southeastern Conference), who have won three straight and snapped Alabama's four-game winning streak. Ole Miss will be the No. 7 seed in the SEC tournament. Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide (20-10, 9-7) with 12 points while JaMychal Green had 11 points and 13 rebounds. Alabama will be seeded fifth in the conference tournament.
For a team riding the high of a late-season revival and near assurance of an NCAA bid, Saturday's regression was especially disappointing for its most veteran players. Senior JaMychal Green called the performance "lackadaisical." Fourth-year junior Andrew Steele saw the same. "There's more we could have done coming in to get ourselves' ready for the game," he said. "Even through all that, I felt like we had a chance to win."
"Disappointing," was how UA coach Anthony Grant described losing a first-round tournament bye, although he had stronger words for his team’s performance, and his own, in the wake of the UA loss. The first-half output for the Crimson Tide, 17 points, was its worst offensive half of the year. Even doubling that output in the second half wasn’t enough for UA.
"This was a big one," said Henry, who blocked a 3-point shot with 30 seconds left that could have pulled Alabama within four points. "We're on a three-game winning streak and we're getting hot. It's not always the best team but the hot team that can make it in postseason."
Alabama never got the game closer than four points during the second half but did hang around. That was, in large part, due to Ole Miss' free-throw shooting (a consistent problem - the Rebels are among the worst teams in the country at 59.5 percent). "It becomes contagious once somebody misses one," forward Terrance Henry said. "One turns into two. And two turns into four. And then Murphy (Holloway) with the airball."
The No. 1 ranked Alabama softball team swept day two of the Easton Alabama Invite, defeating UMass, 8-0, and Maryland, 9-1 Saturday at Rhoads Stadium. The two wins gave UA head coach Patrick Murphy his 700th victory while at the helm of the Crimson Tide program. After the day, Alabama stays perfect at 16-0 on the season.
Top-ranked Alabama swept day two of the Easton Alabama Invite, defeating UMass 8-0 and Maryland 9-1 on Saturday. The two wins gave UA head coach Patrick Murphy his 700th victory while at the helm of the Crimson Tide program.
Facing UMass senior Sara Plourde, the nation’s strikeout leader the past two seasons, Alabama’s sophomore power pitcher worked with a bit of cunning, mixing up her pitches instead of trying to blow it by the Minutewomen. The result was a three-hit gem that kept the UMass batters guessing and missing. Traina (9-0) scattered three hits and struck out six without a walk. How effective was Traina? Hear the words of UMass coach Elaine Sortino, who has won more than 1,100 games and taken her team to the NCAA Tournament 20 times: "She’s got great control and command of the strike zone. She moves the ball around very, very effectively. I think she threw maybe one bad pitch that I remember that went in the dirt. I think her changeup is making her a little bit more effective."
In what is now a 15-game season-opening winning streak for the Crimson Tide softball team, Saturday afternoon’s 8-0 victory over Massachusettswas the sixth of those 15 to come via the mercy rule. Alabama was able to rally behind starting pitcher Jackie Traina, who pitched all six innings and only gave up three hits while striking six betters out in the shutout effort. "She was great,"Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "She did a great job of using the defense. I thought [senior catcher] Kendall [Dawson] did a great job of managing her."
In terms of experience, this line enters spring drills looking not unlike the 2008 Alabama line that returned the likes of Antoine Caldwell, Marlon Davis, Andre Smith and Mike Johnson. Like that line, the 2012 group will feature just one new starter. How Kouandjio rebounds from knee surgery will ultimately go a long way toward shaping the lineup. Ideally, a healthy and effective Kouandjio would give UA the top line in the conference, bar none.