Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pachyderms Poke Pigs

Well, at least they did in the second half.  Or at least they put a sack on Arkansas sharpshooter Rotnei Clarke in the second half.  Clarke scored 21 points in the game but earned only one field goal in the last twenty minutes of play.  Tony Mitchell continues his streak of leading Bama scorers registering a game high 27 points.  Mitchell shot 11 of 15 from the field, which included one of his four three point attempts.  He had several incredible dunks, perhaps the most impressive of which was made on what looked like a miscommunication between him and Releford.  Speaking of Releford, he scored 17 points, including 2 of his 4 three-point attempts, and had three rebounds to go with his four assists.

The Hogs earned a five point lead in the first half and again with just over 12 minutes left to go in the game.  I was getting a bit discouraged, but at that point Bama dialed up its defensive pressure and outscored them 25 to seven to end the game. 

Coach Grant used Hillman, Steele and Davis to guard Clarke, with Davis drawing the assignment for most of the second half.  Clarke is a smart, gutsy player who set hard screens for his teammates and ran the court all night trying to find an open shot.  Arkansas was shooting at the goal right in front of me in the second half and I spent most of my time watching which ever Bama player was shadowing Clarke.  He was covered so effectively outside the arc that Coach Pelfrey had to let him drive past his defender to try to get an open shot underneath the basket.  Several of his shots were blocked, but he did hit several free throws after being fouled.

I hate to have to admit it, but we could not have won this game without some cooperation from the zebras.  It's not that they made any critical calls like we witnessed in Fayetville and Nashville.  But they did call a very loose game, particularly during the last 12 minutes of the second half where the Tide reclaimed the lead for good.  If they had not allowed a considerable amount of contact, the Hogs would have killed us at the free throw line.

Chris Stewart said this is only the fourth time Alabama has won the Western Division of the SEC.  Everyone acknowledges that the West is down this season, but it still is quite an accomplishment and we can finish no worse that 3-3 against Eastern Division opponents.

Hopefully DJC will provide a more detailed and informed summary of the game and his girlfriend will provide some photos.  It's already been a long day for me and I have to go to sleep. 

Roll Tide!

No comments: