After suffering a 69-59 defeat at the hands of the Vanderbilt Commodores at Coleman Coliseum on Thursday night, a game which was not as close as the score indicated, the Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team was probably just hoping to leave Rupp Arena today with a good indication of what else they should work on to become a better team. Instead, Alabama almost snuck out of one of college basketball's most treasured venues with an improbable victory over the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats. Despite a valiant team effort that included a 22 point, 12 rebound performance by senior forward Jamychal Green, the Crimson Tide suffered a 77-71 defeat to the 'Cats.
Along with Green's strong performance in the post, Alabama sophomore guard Trevor Releford added 17 points, all in the second half. Alabama trailed 37-32 at the half, and pulled to within 2 points on six separate occasions and within 1 point on two separate occasions in the second half. However, Alabama could never tie or take the lead against Kentucky in the second half. Green's performance not only helped propel the Tide to the near victory, but also helped him to achieve a career milestone. Green is the 15th player in Alabama history to score 1500 points, and one of only three active players in the SEC to accomplish that feat.
Kentucky, who now improves to 19-1 and 5-0 in the SEC, with their only loss coming to Indiana, had 6 players in double digits. Terrence Jones led coach John Calipari's 'Cats with 15 points. The victory was Kentucky's 47th straight in Rupp Arena.
While coach Anthony Grant and his Alabama Crimson Tide(13-6, 2-3 SEC) would probably love nothing more than to sit around and discuss what might have been, they do not have time to rest on their laurels. Up next for the Tide is a road trip to Columbia, SC where they have a Wednesday night(7:00 pm CT) match-up against a hungry South Carolina Gamecocks(8-10, 0-4 SEC) team that is still looking for their first victory in league play.