Mitchell Soars, But Bama Loses
Both brought excitement and energy both to their teams and the crowd. Such players sell tickets.
That's the kind of high-flying player 6-foot-6, 210-pound Alabama junior forward Tony Mitchell has become, a guy who delights the home crowd and torments the opposing team and its coaches with his acrobatic slams. And he's worth the price of admission.
Such was the case in Alabama's 57-55 home loss to Georgetown, when Swainsboro, Ga. Native Mitchell slammed and jammed his way to a team-high 20 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. He tossed in a 3-pointer late to keep the Tide (7-1) in the game for good measure.
Mitchell's 20-point output was his second of the season and 12th of his career. He finished the night with five dunks, and leads the team with 14 slams this season.
"Tony Mitchell's a terrific basketball player who had a good game," said Georgetown Coach John Thompson III,. "He's versatile and he can do a lot of different things. He's very explosive, and Coach (Anthony) Grant does a very good job of getting him the job in a position where he can make plays. He and (JaMychal) Green in the paint are a hand full, and their guards do a good job of getting the ball to them."
Said Grant, "Obviously Tony (Mitchell) made some great plays with the rebound dunks and finishes, and you can kind of feed on that, and our team and the crowd fed on that.
"I thought he brought great energy. (Mitchell) was obviously a sparkplug for us with the highlight (reel) plays he made. He got the crowd into the game. He certainly ignited our team and the building, and he enabled us to get into our press."
Mitchell said, "I just wanted to come out and give great energy for our team, and give our team a chance to win. Our team just had a few breakdowns, but those are things we can work on and improve on in practice."
Early in the second half with his team down by seven, Mitchell got three dunks in a span of 1:57 to get the crowd on its feet, and, at least temporarily, the visiting Hoyas on their heels.
"I think when Tony (Mitchell) got the back-to-back-to-back dunks, it just gave us a lot of energy," said senior forward JaMychal Green. "That woke us up, and that's' what we needed in the second half."
Mitchell was forced to pick up slack on both ends for Green who was limited to 13 points, four boards in 32 minutes as he battled foul trouble. Mitchell was one of only two Tide players to sink a 3-pointer in the game, as he made one of three attempts.
Freshman Trevor Lacey (eight points) hit 2-for-5 behind the arc, and made Alabama's first trey of the night with 11:33 remaining to cut the Georgetown lead to 35-34.
Alabama (7-1) will travel to Grant's alma mater, Dayton, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, with tip-off set for 6 p.m. Central Time. That game will be available on radio only on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The Tide's next home game is set for Sunday, Dec. 11 against Detroit at 5:00 p.m. on ESPNU.
NOTES: The loss snapped Alabama's 24-game home winning streak, dating back to Feb. 27, 2010.
Georgetown (6-1) improved its record to 3-2 against Alabama all-time. Alabama is now 24-27 all-time against current members of the Big East.
Thursday's game was part of the Big East/SEC Challenge, with games carried on various ESPN networks.
At least a dozen NBA scouts were on hand for the contest, including former Alabama assistant coach Gregg Polinsky of the New Jersey Nets and former Tide player Doc Martin of the New Orleans Hornets.
Thursday's crowd of 15,383 was the first sellout of the season and Bama's first non-conference sellout since Xavier came calling back January of 2003.
Green's 13 points gave him 1,399 for his career, moving him to No. 18 all-time at Alabama past Mike Nordholz.
Georgetown's nine-point second half lead was the largest by a UA opponent thus far this season.
Lacey drew a charge to give him a team-leading six for the year, a mark prominent in Alabama's "Hustle Stats" chart.
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