December 7, 2008

Defense leads the way to Tide victory

Sometimes your best offense is playing good defense. That was just the case for Alabama on Sunday. The Crimson Tide only shot 39 percent from the field but held Louisiana Lafayette to just four second half field goals in route to a 61-44 win.

"I liked our defensive effort today, it was one of our better defensive efforts of the season, said Crimson Tide head coach Mark Gottfried. Collectively everyone on the floor was doing their part on the defensive end."

The Tide defense held the Ragin Cajuns to a 16 percent shooting percentage in the second half and only 25 percent for the game. At the 11:55 mark Louisiana Lafayette's Ryan McCoy hit a lay-up to put the Ragin Cajuns within four at 39-35. After McCoy's bucket the Tide held Louisiana Lafayette to no buckets until .27-second mark. During that time Alonzo Gee and Senario Hillman took over offensively for the Crimson Tide. Gee and Hillman scored 19 of the Crimson Tide's 22 points during the Ragin Cajun's drought.

Gee and Hillman scored 18 points apiece to lead Alabama, but it was Gee's all around performance that helped lead the Crimson Tide to a win.

"Gee had one of his most all around complete efforts," said Gottfried. "His defense, contesting shots, getting deflections, rebounds, taking great shots on offense and making right decisions with the ball. He just played well in every aspect for us today."

The Crimson Tide started the game hot with an 11-1 run, but the Ragin Cajuns cut into the Tide's 10-point lead and found themselves down by a score of 30-26 at halftime. The Crimson Tide's shooting woes helped the Ragin Cajuns remain close throughout the first half with the Tide only shooting 37 percent from the field.

In the second half Hillman began to attack the lane on a tiring Ragin Cajun defense. Hillman's driving to the land helped him score 16 of his 18 points in the second half.

"I felt like they (La-Lafayette) were getting a little weak, said Hillman. "That is why I kept driving into the lane because I knew they couldn't stop me and it made my teammates more open."

With final exam week coming up for students at the University two Crimson Tide players will be taking test to finish their degrees at the Capstone. Alonzo Gee and Brandon Hollinger will both graduate with their bachelor degrees next week in just three and a half years. Also at the end of the spring semester Yamene Coleman will earn his bachelor degree.

Next up for the Crimson Tide will be the Texas A&M Aggies, who they will host next Saturday at 7 p.m. central.

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