Heart-Breaking Loss For Tide At Cincy

Although it hurt Saturday afternoon, at the end of the season the Alabama basketball loss at Cincinnati may look good to the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee. The Crimson Tide lost 58-56 on a buzzer-beater to the 17th ranked Bearcats in Cincinnati.



It was the first loss in seven games for Alabama, while Cincinnati improved to 7-0 in a game that was part of the Big East/Southeastern Conference Challenge.

Next up for the Crimson Tide is a contest against Bama Coach Anthony Grant's alma mater, the Dayton Flyers. Bama will host Dayton at 8 p.m. CST Saturday in Coleman Coliseum.

The Alabama scouting report on Cincinnati warned of the Bearcats could outside shooters, and one of them -- Cashmere Wright -- drained the game-winning jump shot that left Bama with a two-point loss.

Alabama sophomore guard Trevor Lacey led the Crimson Tide with 16 points and added seven rebounds and three assists in the losing effort. Junior Trevor Releford added 12 points and three steals, as the Crimson Tide dropped to 6-1 on the season.

"Cincinnati played extremely hard and has a very good basketball team" Grant said. "We didn't do some things well, especially down the stretch. This is a great learning opportunity for us and hopefully will make us better. Overall, I'm proud of the effort that our guys gave today, but we just came up short."

The Tide faced a deficit of 13 points in the first half, before making a late rally.

Alabama looked to be in trouble just before halftime, trailing 33-24 in the waning seconds. But Releford drilled a three-pointer just before intermission to make it a six-point (33-27) halftime score.

That trey triggered 14-4 run, which gave Alabama its first lead of the game, 38-37, with 14:16 remaining. From there, it was a back-and-forth affair that featured five ties and eight lead changes – the final one of which came as the buzzer sounded.

For the game, Alabama shot 43.9 per cent (25-of-57) from the floor, including 36.4 per cent (4-of-11) from three-point range. The Tide also outrebounded Cincinnati, 37-32.

Cincinnati (7-0) came into the game averaging 87 points a contest, but the Tide defense frustrated the Bearcats all night. UC finished shooting just 39 per cent for the game and 18.2 per cent from beyond the arc.

Other notable performances came from sophomore guard Rodney Cooper, who finished with eight points, as well as freshman forward Devonta Pollard, seven points.