Lacey Leads Tide Past Georgia

Trevor Lacey didn't burst onto the scene with the Alabama men's basketball team. For most of the pre-Southeastern Conference schedule he was a substitute. But the highly-recruited freshman has come on strong and earned a starting job. Saturday night he helped Bama to victory in the SEC opener.

Alabama opened SEC play with a 74-59 win over the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens as Trevor Lacey scored a career high 19 points, bettering his previous career mark of 12 points.

Lacey hit 6-8 field goals, including 3-4 three-point attempts, and all four of his free throws as the Crimson Tide won its fourth consecutive game against Georgia. Bama had not won in Athens since 2005. It was the third straight year under Coach Anthony Grant that Alabama has won its SEC opener.

Alabama improved to 12-3 overall and Georgia fell to 9-6. The Tide has now won four games in a row, while the Bulldogs had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Junior forward Tony Mitchell had 17 points and five rebounds for Alabama. Sophomore guard Trevor Releford had 12 points.

Senior forward JaMychal Green, who has not started the past few games as he has been nursing an injured shoulder, came off the bench, but played 33 minutes. He had eight points, a game-high 10 rebounds, and five assists. Green also had nine of the Tide's 17 turnovers.

Coach Anthony Grant said, "You've always got to be pleased any time you can get a road win in this league. I'm very proud of our guys. We overcame the turnovers and things that we weren't doing well in the game, but we found a way to get the stops and win the game."

After the teams traded baskets to start the game, Lacey ignited a 21-6 Alabama run, starting at the 10:54 mark. It gave the Tide a 31-17 advantage. Lacey had 17 of his points in the first half, and Bama had a 38-26 halftime lead.

Alabama maintained the lead for the duration of the second half, although the Bulldogs cut the margin to just four points with over nine minutes to play. From there, the Tide outscored Georgia 22-11, to put the game away.

Newly-activated junior forward Andrew Steele had another productive game in his second outing, scoring nine points on 3-4 field goal shooting and 3-3 on foul shots. Seven of his nine points came in Bama's game-sealing run.

Alabama hit 27-49 on field goal attempts, 55.1 per cent, and was good on 6-17 three-point shots (35.3 per cent). Bama made 14-15 free throws (93.3 per cent). The Tide held Georgia to 21-52 on field goals, 40.4 per cent, and only 4-17 on treys (23-5 per cent).

Alabama out-rebounded Georgia 35-20.

The Tide outscored the Bulldogs by 36-28 in the paint, 17-13 off turnovers, and 10-2 on fast breaks.

Alabama returns to action at 8 p.m. CST Wednesday when the Tide hosts LSU.

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