No. 8 Alabama rallies down from 15 to stun No. 1 Houston

No. 8 Alabama rallies down from 15 to stun No. 1 Houston

  • Sports
  • December 11, 2022
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HOUSTON — No. 8 Alabama could have called it a day when it fell into double digits early in the second half.

The Crimson Tide did not, and earned another marquee win that season.

Alabama rebounded from a 15-point deficit in the second half to stun No. 1 Houston 71-65 on Saturday, becoming only the fourth team to defeat two different AP No. 1s in the same season.

Noah Clowney had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jaden Bradley added 12 points and Mark Sears had 11 points, including nine in the second half for the Crimson Tide (8-1). Alabama shot 50% from the field and 41% for the game in the second half. The Tide went 20 of 32 on free throws, including 15 of 21 in the second half.

“This is one of those character wins that shows our boys will keep fighting no matter what the outcome,” said Alabama coach Nate Oats. “We could easily have given up 15 behind. The start of the second half wasn’t great. We made some changes to the boys from the bench. We persevered, kept clinging to the lead, were finally able to take the lead and then we pulled away from them.”

The Crimson Tide beat North Carolina 103-101 in four overtimes on November 27th.

Season, School1st Opp.2nd Opp.2022-23 AlabamaHoustonUNC2021-22 ArkansasAuburnGonzaga1992-93 Ga. TechDukeUNC1989-90 OklahomaKansasMissouri– ESPN stats and information

“Huge program win,” said Oats. “I’m not sure how many teams have the chance to play against two No. 1 teams in a non-conference let alone beat them, but I think it shows where we’ve taken this program that we’re going to can play with anyone in the country at this point. ”

Jamal Shead had 19 points and six rebounds, and Tramon Mark had 10 points before fouling Houston (9-1) 8-10.

“This is the No. 8 team in the nation,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “No shame in losing to a really, really good team from Alabama. Obviously disappointing. We have not lost much in this building.”

The Cougars shot 39% from the field, including a 1-of-8 to end the game. Houston was 3-of-13 on 3-pointers and 12-of-22 from the free throw line.

“We just couldn’t defend,” Shead said. “We weren’t in front of the ball four or five times in a row and that’s how they got back into the game. And we just weren’t tough enough to finish it.”

The game ended with 63 points after a free throw by Marcus Sasser two minutes before the end. Then Clowney added two to the tide with a layup with 1:12 remaining, Shead missed a jumper with 48 seconds left and Brandon Miller made two free throws five seconds later to take the lead to four.

After Reggie Chaney missed two free throws, Miller took two more free throws to give Alabama a 69-63 lead with 27 seconds left.

With 8.5 minutes to go, Tide was down 57-49 and went on with an 11-3 run to cut the lead to 61-60 after Clowney hit a layup with five minutes to go.

Houston went on an 18-2 run to end the first half and start the second, taking a 44-29 lead with 17:13 remaining after a steal and layup by Jarace Walker, but Alabama responded with a 15-5 sprint to cut the lead to five on a 3-pointer from Sears with 11 minutes left.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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