Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Crimsons Choke Cocks In Coleman Coliseum

Box score

Defense was the key in Alabama's 57-47 win over South Carolina.  Bama got off to a fast start offensively and led by as many as 9 points before USC began to find the basket.  Then Sam Muldrow jumped into a phone booth and came back out the Tasmanian Devil, jumping, whirling and blocking every shot the Tide front men put up.  Bama's offense bogged down even more when freshman point guard Trevor Relford went to the bench with his second foul with about six minutes remaining in the first half.

Kudos to Assistant Coach Tony Pujol, Coach Anthony Grant's long time friend and defensive specialist.  Both Grant and Pujol preach defense first, and that definitely is what allowed the Tide to turn this game in its favor. 

Bama stretched its lead to as many as 11 points in the second half, but while Bama went o-for from outside the arc the Gamecock sharp shooters hit just enough of their three point shots to pull them close enough to win the game.  Releford did look a little rattled as USC's guards pressed both him and Eblen down the stretch trying to find quick, easy points in an effort to pull back into contention.  Scenario Hillman showed his senior poise by hitting a key shot and two free throws to keep the visiting team at bay.

I thought Muldrow was going to land in DJC's lap when he chased an out of bounds ball over the table behind the home bench.  I'm sure DJC will have more insightful comments on the game than I can offer.  For now I am happy to see our young men continuing to contest almost everything the other team does and finding ways to win.

Bama's next game is in Fayetville where former USA Coach John Pelfrey has his Hogs playing very well.  Let's hope the lessons learned to this point are enough for the good guys to earn another road victory.  That would be solid evidence that Coach Grant's approach can produce not just winning efforts but wins as well.

Well done, Bama Basketballers.

Roll Tide!

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