January 30, 2008
Report card: Tennessee 93, Alabama 86
It was a poor night for Alabama from 3-point range (4 of 13), but UA's guards did a better job of penetrating than they showed in four previous SEC losses. That improvement was led by Mikhail Torrance, who took advantage of increased minutes to score 12 by attacking the basket. UA's 20 turnovers - including seven in the first 3:59 - set up the Tide to trail for nearly the entire game.
Richard Hendrix delivered another excellent performance, scoring 20 with a game-high 12 rebounds. Demetrius Jemison endured a tough night, shooting 1 for 5 and committing three turnovers in 11 minutes. Though he's technically a guard, [/db]Alonzo Gee[/db] played more like a forward in scoring 27. Of his 17 shots, only two were from 3-point range and he added nine rebounds. UA played much of the game with four guards on the floor.
Alabama stifled Tennessee's offense for the entire first half, holding the Southeastern Conference's most prolific offense to 33 points. A 60-point second half for UT told a different story, however, as Alabama began giving up too many good looks at 3-pointers. UT finished 12 of 27 from long range. On the positive side, UA forced 23 turnovers, and surprisingly created more easy baskets than it allowed.
A strength for Alabama for most of the season, interior defense wasn't as strong on Tuesday. Wayne Chism and Tyler Smith combined for 24 points UA couldn't keep the duo off the offensive glass. With five offensive rebounds each to lead the way for UT's 21 as a team, the Vols got far too many second shots. UA battled Tennessee to a relative draw on the defensive glass.
Rico Pickett struggled mightily off the bench (five turnovers, no points in 19 minutes), but was spelled impressively by Torrance. Senario Hillman continues to give Alabama more and more quality play off the bench. While his outside shot isn't a strength, his transition skills, athleticism and intensity have created a spark. Hillman scored 12 with five assists and only one turnover.
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