Alabama drops heartbreaker in NIT Elite Eight - WRBL

Alabama drops heartbreaker in NIT Elite Eight

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -

In a game that came down to the final seconds, the Alabama men's basketball team fell just short in their furious comeback bid against Maryland in the quarterfinal round of the National Invitation Tournament, 58-57, in front of an enthusiastic and vocal crowd of 9,479 in Coleman Coliseum Tuesday night.

The Crimson Tide finishes at 23-13 on the season.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the crowd and the atmosphere that we got tonight," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "I thought it was electric and it was great for our guys to play in that type of atmosphere for our last home game."

Alabama was led by sophomore guard Levi Randolph who scored 15 points and pulled down four rebounds. Sophomore guard Rodney Cooper and junior guard Trevor Releford also scored in double digits, with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

After trailing by as many as 10 in the second half, the Tide cut it to just one with a little more than five minutes remaining before the Terrapins ran their lead back up to eight with 3:40 to go in the game.

Alabama was relentless though, whittling the lead back down to one with 46 seconds to go after the ball dropped into the hoop following a slashing drive to the basket by Releford. After Maryland missed a pair of free throws with 27 seconds to go, Randolph grabbed the rebound. In the end, sophomore guard Trevor Lacey, who hit three game-winning shots this season, put up a jumper as time ran out that was just off the mark.

"You look at a one-point game and I'm sure we'll look back and think that there are a lot of things that could have been the difference but the thing that I won't question is the fight that our guys showed," Grant said. "We gave ourselves a chance and that's all that you can ask as a coach."

Maryland was led by 7-1 sophomore center Alex Len, who dropped in 15 points and caused problems for the Tide in the middle most of the game, grabbing 13 rebounds. The Tide is now 3-2 all-time against the Terps.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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