Some New Names, But Outcome Is Old

While the script was far too familiar, the supporting cast had a few new names for the Crimson Tide basketball team in it's most recent outing.

A pair of unlikely heroes came off the bench to help Alabama stay in a close game that Bama lost to Ole Miss, 76-73 before a disappointed cowed of 11,147 at Coleman Coliseum. Juniors Justin Knox and Charvez Davis, have, to say the least, had their ups and downs this year, but Saturday was an "up" day for both.

Just not for their team.

Davis poured in 19-points a career-high effort that was not enough to hold off the sharp-shooting Rebels. The junior college transfer added a pair of assists and grabbed a rebound in 21 minutes of playing time.

"When I'm open, I have to take open shots," Davis said. "I was just shooting the ball when I was open, and my teammates did a good job of finding me."

Davis said this game bore no resemblance to the debacle two weeks ago when the Tide blew a 23-point second half lead in Oxford against these same Rebels.

"We didn't let down. They just made some plays, and we came up very short on some plays we were supposed to make.

Knox, a 6-foot-9, 240-pounder from Tuscaloosa, came off the bench to score 10 of his 12 points in the first half. Knox also collected five boards in 18 minutes for Alabama, which fell to 14-13, 4-10 in the SEC.

Alabama Coach Anthony Grant acknowledged the big contributions by the two bench players, Davis and Knox.

"You look at the success they had from an offense standpoint," Grant said. "Those jobs did a good job of making themselves available. Those guys were the beneficiaries of good ball movement. That was good to see from those guys in both of those areas."

Said Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy: "There were some loose balls and we got our share. We came at them and drove. It really wasn't one guy as I glance at the stat sheet. We had four guys with six plus rebounds. It shows everybody was engaged in the game.

"We still had a free-throw discrepancy but we made up for it with the ability to knock down three-point shots. It was a team effort tonight against a good Alabama team. Tonight you just had two teams fighting and it turned out a good night for us."

Problem for Alabama Davis wasn't the only guy bombing 3-balls. Ole Miss canned a staggering 48 per cent on 12-for-25 shooting behind what was, for the visitors, the "arc of triumph."

"Ole Miss came in and really shot the ball well from the three-point line," Grant said. "I thought that was the difference in the game. It was nip-and-tuck game, back and forth. We felt like we had to do a great job of ball containment. Terrico White (15 points, 4-6 on threes) came into the game making 28 per cent of his three-point shots. He did a great job.

"There've been other games this year that we've had leads late in the game, and haven't been able to close the game out." Next up for the Tide is a trip to South Carolina Wednesday night to face the Gamecocks, on the same court Kentucky absorbed the first of it's two losses this season, a 68-62 Carolina win back on January 26. Wednesday's contest will tip off at 6 p.m. CST.

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