Alabama Needs OT To Lose To Georgia

Sometimes doing a job poorly takes a little longer, too. In another of those games Alabama “could not afford to lose,” the lost in overtime to Georgia, 66-65, in Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide had the ball and a one-point lead with a minute to play, but turned it over and then fell victim to a short baseline jumper with five seconds to play.

Alabama had one last chance, but Retin Obasohan – who had carried Bama in the second half – had a last second shot swatted away, out of bounds. With just 8/10 of a second to play, Obasohan got the ball into Rodney Cooper, but Cooper had to wait for a defender to clear and by the time he got the shot away time had expired.

Just as an FYI, the shot missed.

Alabama certainly had its chances. Prior to the game, Tide Coach Anthony Grant noted that Georgia shoots a lot more free throws than other teams. Alabama shot more foul shots than the Bulldogs, but the Tide was mostly throwing bricks, making only 16-31 (including a couple of misses on the first shots of one-and-one opportunities). Even Obasohan, who scored a game-high 16 points, had a chance to practically ice the game with two free throws and missed them both.

That certainly is not to blame Obasohan. He also had a game-high 12 rebounds and single-handedly stopped three Georgia fast breaks, two of them with blocked shots.

Cameron Forte hd the winning basket as he drove the baseline and hit a short, but tough, jumper for the win.

The loss dropped Alabama to 16-10 overall and 6-7 in Southeastern Conference games. Georgia, coming off back-to-back home losses to SEC bottom feeders Auburn and South Carolina, improved to 16-9, 7-6.

Next for Alabama is South Carolina. The Crimson Tide will host the Gamecocks at 6 p.m. CST Tuesday. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

Both teams hit just 1-5 from the field in the overtime period, but Georgia made all four of its free throws and Bama was 2-4. The Bulldogs scored three more points on foul shots, 19-27.

The Tide hit 21-56 from the field (37.5 per cent) to the Dogs 22-58 (37.9 per cent). Bama was 7-21 on three-point tries (33.3 per cent) and Georgia was 3-15 (20 per cent).

Both teams had 43 rebounds with Georgia getting 8 second chance points on 11 offensive boards, the Tide getting only 3 on 12 offensive rebounds. Georgia got 12 points off the Tide’s 11 turnovers, Alabama 3 points off the Dogs’ 9 turnovers. Obasohan’s heroics against the fast break notwithstanding, Georgia had 8 fast break points, Alabama 2. Georgia also had a slight advantage in the paint, 30-26.

In addition to Obasohan’s 16 points, freshman Riley Norris had 14 points and 5 rebounds and Rodney Cooper 11 points and 5 rebounds.

Georgia was led by Demanja Djurisic with 14 points and 7 rebounds, Charles Mann with 13, and Marcus Thornton with 10.

Alabama and Georgia were tied, 24-24, at halftime. The Dogs took a quick three-point lead, but Bama got its first lead (32-31) on a Shannon Hale trey and it was a back-and-forth game until the Dogs had a 10-2 run and moved out to an eight-point lead at 49-41 with 8:30 to play.

Norris had a free throw and a trey to pull Bama to within a basket and Cooper had a nice drive to tie the game at 51-51.

Cooper made three free throws (one on a technical on the Georgia bench) and Obasohan hit a pair of three-pointers and Alabama had a 60-58 lead with 1:36 to play. In that last bit of regulation, the Tide was 1-4 on free throws, Georgia 1-2 from the foul line and also had a field goal. Alabama turned the ball over in the final seconds, but Georgia’s desperation shot was not close.

Alabama got the lead with its only field goal of overtime, a nice baseline drive by Cooper, and made 2-4 free throws. Georgia made two field goals and 2-2 foul shots.

Alabama played the last four minutes of the first half like a college basketball team. The other 16 minutes, not so well. The result was that Bama, which never led in the first half, climbed from a nine-point hole to a 24-24 halftime tie.

Bama had nearly a seven-minute drought between field goals – a Jimmie Taylor layup on a fine assist from Justin Coleman at 9:35 until a three-point make by Riley Norris with three minutes to go. Norris was the catalyst for the four-minute rally, scoring seven points including a second chance basket on a nice rebound and assist from Retin Obasohan.

Bama tied the game for the first time at 22-22 on a fast break layup by Levi Randolph with a minute and a half until intermission and went to the dressing room at 24-24 as Obasohan drove the lane for a layup in the final seconds.

Neither team was very good. Bama shot only 30.8 per cent in the first half (8-26) and Georgia – which did most of its damage with shots in the paint – was 9-28 for 32.1 per cent. On three-point shots, the Tide was 1-9, the Bulldogs 1-8.

TIDE NOTES: Starters for Alabama were point guard Retin Obasohan, guard Levi Randolph, wing Rodney Cooper, forward Shannon Hale, and center Jimmie Taylor.

Georgia guard J.J. Frazier, who had been sidelined with a concussion and two fractures (hand and face) and who was questionable for the game, entered at the first clock stoppage with 15:39 to play in the first half.


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