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The Jumbo Package │02.21.13

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide and sports related links

Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry this is so late you guys....Real life and what not. #blamesTodd

Top-Ranked Softball Downs UAB, 8-4 - ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

The Tide banged out eight hits and was led offensively by freshman Haylie McCleney who recorded her fifth three-hit game on the year. Senior Kaila Hunt batted 2-for-3 with her fifth home run of the season while junior Jackie Traina also had two hits and a home run.

Tuscaloosa native presented Bronze Star |

Staff Sgt. Robert Brenizer, a Tuscaloosa native, has received the Bronze Star with valor device for his service on a combat mission in Afghanistan — the fourth-highest combat medal given in the Army.

Ashley Sledge Named SEC Gymnast of the Week - ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

"I'm very proud of Ashley," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "Prior to the Auburn meet, we talked about working for those extra half-tenths in her routines. She did just that and went out and moved forward on all three events Friday night.'

Rodney Cooper keeps door from closing on Alabama's SEC title and NCAA tournament hopes |

After the struggling Bulldogs had closed to within four points with a little more than five minutes left, Cooper sank a 3-pointer to spark a 15-4 run. Alabama went on to win 64-56 Wednesday night at Coleman Coliseum, keeping its hopes of reaching the NCAA tournament alive.

Crimson Tide turns back last-place Mississippi State |

If the game had any spice at all, it came from Cooper. The sophomore forward scored a season-high 20 points and added 10 rebounds, just the second double-double performance by a Crimson Tide player this season. "We played a team in Mississippi State that brought great effort and great energy and in a lot of ways outplayed us," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said.

Great Effort Falls Short For Bulldogs At Alabama In 64-56 Setback - Mississippi State University Bulldogs Official Athletic Site -

The Bulldogs were down 19-15 after a tip-in from Gavin Ware. Alabama responded with a 12-3 run. MSU managed one field goal over the final 5:34 of the opening half. Alabama forced 11 first-half turnovers, scored 11 points off the turnovers, and led 31-20 at the intermission. The Maroon and White were on the way to a 23-turnover night.

Men’s basketball team deserves same strong attendance as other sports

But countless poor showings from fans is unacceptable, especially from students. Tickets are free for students, and it’s almost always a televised event. There’s always something entertaining going on during timeouts, and the halftime show could be anything from dogs catching Frisbees to a lady riding a giant unicycle and balancing bowls on her head. Along with the side acts and performances, there’s quality basketball being played on the hardwood.

No. 2 Alabama heads to New Orleans for tournament

“The key to our success is always how well we putt,” Potter said. “We putted pretty well in Puerto Rico, one of our better putting tournaments over the past five years, and won by thirteen. We need to continue that and hopefully improve on it.”

Rodney Cooper scores big in win at Miss State

“I thought Rodney did an outstanding job,” Grant said. “I thought he brought the energy and passion that we needed – some big plays, some big rebounds – that allowed us to have a chance to win.” Alabama (18-8, 10-3 SEC) still holds strong to its second-place position in the Southeastern Conference. The Tide controls its destiny and has a shot at claiming the SEC regular season title.

Nick Saban speaking engagement in Tennessee drawing ire from some Vol fans |

“You CANNOT be so naive as to think Saban has agreed (to speak) out of the goodness of his heart,” one Tennessee fan emailed Preston. “This shrewd person is doing it to benefit recruiting. PERIOD. Don’t for a second think differently, or you are a fool," said one Tennessee fan in an email to chamber president Rob Preston .

74, including 61 UA students, charged today in drug arrest roundup in Tuscaloosa (updated) |

Seventy-four people, the majority of them University of Alabama students, were arrested today in Tuscaloosa during a West Alabama Narcotics Task Force roundup

Alabama says it has not received Notice of Allegations for Joe Pannunzio |

Pannunzio, who joined Nick Saban's staff in 2011, was one of a number of former Hurricanes coaches named in Yahoo! Sports' initial report, which blew the doors open on a scandal that has hovered above Miami since Aug. 2011. The former Hurricanes tight ends/special teams coach allegedly facilitated meetings between rogue booster Nevin Shapiro and recruits, according to the report.

Report: Former Alabama CB Dee Milliner to have shoulder surgery after NFL Combine |

Milliner sustained the injury at some point during the season and played through it, according to the report. Milliner's agent, Tony Fleming, told Schefter that Milliner would perform every drill except the bench press this weekend, but would be unavailable for Alabama's Pro Day on March 13.

Tide Heads to Mississippi State for Midweek Matchup - ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

The women's basketball team (12-13, 2-10 SEC) will play its first of two games this week on Thursday when it heads to Starkville, Miss., to take on the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (11-14, 3-9 SEC) at Humphrey Coliseum. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. CT.