Late Free Throws Give UCLA Win

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After trailing by double digits early in the contest, the Alabama men's basketball team battled back again UCLA in Pauley Pavilion Saturday night, keeping the game close throughout behind senior guard Trevor Releford's game-high 34 points, before falling to the Bruins, 75-67.

The game was tied with just over a minute to go in the game, before the Bruins hit 8-of-8 free throws and stretched out what was ultimately an eight-point differential.

With the loss, Alabama falls to 5-7 on the year while UCLA improves to 11-2.

Trailing halfway through the first half, Alabama used a 15-4 run to ultimately take a 34-33 lead into halftime. Alabama was outscored 42-33 in the second half and was out-rebounded 37-26 on the night.

Along with his 34 points, Releford also had five steals and was 6-of-9 from behind the three-point line. The only other Crimson Tide player in double-digits was junior guard Levi Randolph who had 12. Freshman forward Shannon Hale had a season-high nine rebounds to go with nine points.

Releford did not start the game as he was held out for a disciplinary reason. Releford, however, played 24 minutes. Also not starting was Nick Jacobs or Jimmie Taylor. Bama's starting lineup was Shannon Hale, Carl Engstrom, Levi Randolp;h, Rodney Cooper, and Retin Obasohan.

UCLA was led by forward Tony Parker who had a team-high 16 points off of the bench. Besides Parker, four other Bruins scored in double-digits.

Alabama hit 23-52 (44.2 per cent from the field) while UCLA made 28-59 (47.5 per cent). The Tide was good on 9-22 three-pointers (40.9 per cent) and the Bruins 3-9 (33.3 per cent). Alabama made 12-17 free throws (70.6 per cent) while UCLA was good on 16-20 (80 per cent).

The UCLA advantage of 37-26 in rebounding included the Bruins pulling down 12 offensive boards, while Alabama got only four offensive rebounds – three by Hale.

The score was tied seven times, the last at 67-67, and there were nine lead changes.

Alabama committed 16 turnovers and had only seven assists. The Bruins had 18 assists, 14 turnovers.

UCLA outscored the Tide by 38-20 in the paint and 12-7 on second chance points, but Bama had the edge in points off turnovers, 19-14.

Alabama returns to action Saturday when the Tide hosts the Robert Morris Colonials at Coleman Coliseum. The contest, which will mark the final regular season non-conference game of the 2013-14 campaign, will tip at 4:30 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSS.

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