Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Home Court Heroics


Despite a game plagued with turnovers, the Alabama Crimson Tide (11-7, 3-1 SEC) managed to pull a 68-66 victory over the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats (14-4, 2-2 SEC) Tuesday night in Coleman Coliseum, making the Tide a perfect 10-0 at home this season.

The atmosphere was charged in the packed Coliseum, and the Tide fought hard for its win. Sophomore Ben Eblen had only three points in the game, but they were perhaps three of the most important points of the game.

In the first half, Eblen scored a layup off a turnover to tie the game for the first time at 15-all. Then, with slightly more than two seconds left in the game and the Tide up by one, he stole the ball on the Kentucky side of the court and was fouled immediately.

Eblen made the first free throw, and though he missed the second, the two-point lead was enough to put the pressure on Kentucky, and it was enough to seal Alabama’s victory.

“At the end, Ben was in great position there, very alert to come up with the steal,” said head coach Anthony Grant. “I’m just very happy for him to have the opportunity to step in and impact the game the way he did.”

Going into halftime, Alabama was leading 37-30 after the team finally managed to break its three-pointer dry spell. Thanks to hitting 4-of-10 in the first half, the Tide took its first lead in the half with 10 minutes to go, and though Kentucky tried to come back, Alabama’s three pointers kept putting the lead out of reach.

Breaking the dry spell was senior Senario Hillman, pulling the team to within two with a three-pointer, and then the layup by Eblen to tie it up was followed by a layup by JaMychal Green to give the Tide the lead after Kentucky had led by as many as six.

After the Wildcats relinquished the lead, they did not get it back.

Five minutes into the second half, Alabama led 50-32, having gone on a 13-2 run after halftime. The Tide’s scoring percentage at that point in the half was just better than 71 percent, while the defense held Kentucky to just 14 percent, with the Wildcats going 1-of-7.

“We just knew that we had to come out aggressive,” Green said. “We knew we couldn’t be laid back, so when we got laid back, they came back. We fought hard, we stayed together and we had key stops to get this win.”

Kentucky used a full-court press throughout the second half, forcing turnovers and cutting the Tide’s lead. The turnovers pushed Alabama to foul more, and Kentucky was in the bonus just under the 10-minute mark.

Though Alabama had 19 turnovers that resulted in 24 Wildcat points, the team was able to hold on for its biggest win so far this season.

“We got muscled,” said Kentucky head coach John Calipari. “They muscled us.”

Next up for the Tide is an SEC road matchup against the Auburn Tigers Saturday with tipoff set for 5 p.m. Alabama’s next home game is Jan. 29 against LSU with tipoff at 7 p.m.

Game leaders

Alabama                                                            Kentucky

J. Green (18)                        Scoring                        T. Jones (17)

J. Green (11)                        Rebounding                        T. Jones & J. Harrellson (9)

C. Hines (3)                        Assists                                    D. Liggins (4)

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