Alabama Men’s Basketball Edged by Xavier, 77-74 - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Alabama Men’s Basketball Edged by Xavier, 77-74

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TUSCALOOSA, AL - The men's basketball team dropped a 77-74 decision to Xavier on Saturday night in Coleman Coliseum. Senior Trevor Releford scored a game-high 17 points, his 10th double-figure scoring outing in as many games, while freshman Shannon Halechipped in a season-best 14 points for the Crimson Tide.
With the loss, Alabama drops to 5-6 on the season, while the win lifts the Musketeers to 9-3 overall.
“Credit has to go to Xavier,” Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said. “In the second half they completely changed the complexion of the game. From about the 12 minute mark on, we could not get stops and had a tough time getting any continuity. I give them credit.”
In the loss, Alabama saw a balanced scoring attack with six players scoring eight or more points.
Trailing early in the first half, the Tide used a 12-2 run to gain its first lead of the game with 13:31 left before halftime. Alabama would take a seven point advantage in to the break, leading 33-26.
The Tide’s lead ballooned to 12 to start the second half, but the Musketeers would not go away. Xavier gradually chipped away and took its first lead since 14:16 in the first half with a Dee Davis layup at the 4:40 mark. The Musketeers pulled in front by as many as five down the stretch and held on for the three-point victory.
Alabama shot 48.9 percent (23-47) from the field and 42.1 percent (8-19) behind the arc for the game, outshooting Xavier’s 39.7 percent (25-63) from the field and 33.3 percent (5-15) from three-point land. The Musketeers took advantage from the free-throw stripe by converting 78.6 percent (22-28), while the Tide shot 66.7 percent (20-30) from the line.
Led by Hale’s 14 points, Alabama saw a decisive advantage in bench scoring, where the Tide outscored Xavier 28-18 off the bench.
With the loss, Alabama drops to 0-5 when allowing more than 70 points and 0-4 in games decided by five points or less.
Alabama will return to action after the Christmas holiday when it travels West to take on the nationally-ranked UCLA Bruins on Saturday, Dec. 28, at 9 p.m. CT (7 p.m. PT) on ESPN2. It will mark just the second time the Tide will make the trip to Pauley Pavilion, with the first coming on Jan. 28, 1983 when Alabama stunned then-No. 1 UCLA, 70-67.

ALABAMA MEDIA RELATIONS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT
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