December 19, 2007

Tide picks up win over UTPA

TUSCALOOSA - Despite giving up an 11-0 run to end the game, the Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team held on to win 75-65 over Texas Pan-American in Coleman Coliseum in the second game of the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic bringing Mark Gottfried's squad to 7-3 for the year.

"It was a good win for our team. We took care of business and did what we needed to do," said Gottfried.

Alabama dominated the Broncs for the majority of the game stretching their lead to as much as 14 points in the first half before a buzzer-beating layup from UTPA's Paul Stoll cut the lead to 6. Stoll finished the game with 8 points and 12 assists for the Broncs.

The Tide regained momentum in the second half pushing their lead to as many as 21 before UTPA's 11-0 run to end the game cut the Tide's margin of victory to 10. Much of the Tide's second half success came from senior Mykal Riley who finished 3-of-6 from three-point range and 5-of-9 overall to finish with 14 points and 5 rebounds.

"He seems a lot more confident right now," said Gottfried of Riley. "He's shooting the ball and looking for his shot. There's starting to be some chemistry between him and Rico Pickett now and Rico is kind of looking for him out there a little more. I think Riley is playing very consistent for us right now."

Pickett manned the point guard position for the Tide for the majority of the game finishing with 5 assists and 2 turnovers along with 8 points and 3 blocked shots.

All-SEC forward Richard Hendrix led the Tide with 18 points and 8 rebounds but saw just 24 minutes of play due to early foul trouble.

"Foul trouble really seemed to mess with the flow of our game,' Hendrix said. "We couldn't really seem to get the runs that we would like to get and stretch the lead out more."

Also scoring in double-digits for the Tide were junior Brandon Hollinger with 10 points and 2 assists as well as junior forward Alonzo Gee who recorded 11 points and 5 rebounds.

The Tide will next travel to Las Vegas to face Missouri State on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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