The Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team saw its 24-game home winning streak come to an end with a heartbreaking 57-55 loss to the Georgetown Hoyas at Coleman Coliseum. Alabama battled back from 9 points down with less than three minutes to go to take a three-point lead, but Georgetown’s Hollis Thompson drilled a deep three with less than two seconds remaining, and Levi Randolph’s desperation half-court heave clanked off the iron.
By all means, Georgetown deserved to win the game, and outplayed the Crimson Tide for most of the game, but that doesn’t take the sting away from that loss.
Ultimately, Alabama couldn’t overcome an ugly first half offensively that saw them put up just 16 points as they trailed by 5 going into the half. Alabama’s offense came alive early in the second half on the heels of three highlight-reel jams by Tony Mitchell. The third of his dunks gave Alabama a 25-24 lead.
The game went back and forth from there, and a pair of Trevor Lacey free throws gave Alabama a 41-38 lead with 7:50 to go. After that, the Hoyas went on a 7-0 run to reclaim a 45-41 lead, and after a Hollis Thompson layup, Georgetown led 54-45 with just 2:56 remaining in the game. It appeared like the Tide was dead in the water, but they refused to go away.
Alabama went on an 10-0 led by back-to-back layups from JaMychal Green and a clutch three-pointer by Tony Mitchell. Mitchell then made 1-of-2 free throws to pull the Crimson Tide within 1, and then with just under 13 seconds to go, Trevor Releford was fouled and stepped up to hit a pair of huge free throws to give Alabama a one-point lead at 55-54.
Coming out of a timeout, Georgetown set up a play to get the ball in the hands of Hollis Thompson, who stepped up with a long, dagger three straight through the hearts of a sold-out Coleman Coliseum. The three gave Georgetown a 57-55 lead with under 2 seconds remaining. After an Anthony Grant timeout, all the Tide could get was a half-court prayer from Levi Randolph that actually came pretty close to banking in.
It was the three-point line that was Alabama’s downfall once again. The Tide went 3-for-16 from three with all three coming in the second half. Trevor Lacey hit a couple of big ones to keep the game within striking distance, and then Tony Mitchell hit one to help lead the comeback charge.
Tony Mitchell looked much healthier tonight as he led the Tide with 20 points and 9 rebounds on 9/13 from the floor. JaMychal Green struggled against the Hoya size, finishing with just 13 points and 4 rebounds in 32 minutes. In general, Alabama struggled to stop Georgetown’s center Henry Sims, especially in the second half with Green in foul trouble. Sims absolutely abused freshman forward Nick Jacobs in the paint.
Trevor Releford had a season-high 6 assists to go along with 9 points and 3 rebounds. The only other player to finish with more than 2 points was freshman Trevor Lacey. Lacey had 8 points and 3 rebounds.
Georgetown was led by guard Jason Clark who torched the nets from downtown. He connected on 4 of his 7 three point attempts, and led all scorers with 22 points. Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson also finished in double figures with 13 and 12 respectively.
For Alabama, it marks the first loss at Coleman Coliseum since a 76-73 loss to Ole Miss on February 27th, 2010. Alabama didn’t lose a game in Tuscaloosa all last season.
The Crimson Tide falls to 7-1 on the season with the loss. Despite the Hoyas being unranked, make no mistake Tide fans, this is a good basketball team. They beat a then top-10 Memphis in Maui earlier in the season, and took Kansas to the brink in that same tournament. This is a tough loss to swallow, but it isn’t one that will hurt the team at all come tournament time in March. The young team will learn from this defeat, and will continue getting better as the season goes on.
Alabama has no time to sulk as they go on the road to take on a solid Dayton squad in six days.