Nov. 29, 2009
Site: Orlando, Fla. (Disney's Wide World of Sports -- The Milk House)
Event: Old Spice Classic (Third-Place Game)
Score: Alabama 68, #15 Michigan 66
Records: U-M (3-2), Alabama (4-2)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, Dec. 2 -- vs. Boston College (Crisler Arena), 7:30 p.m.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Despite leading for the majority of the contest, the No. 15-ranked University of Michigan men's basketball team fell, 68-66, to Alabama in the third-place game of the Old Spice Classic at the Milk House on Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex on Sunday (Nov. 29). Junior guard Manny Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford) scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had a career-best five steals for U-M.
Michigan had the ball with 49 seconds remaining and the score tied, 66-66, but came up empty on their possession. JaMychal Green then put the Crimson Tide up by two with a dunk with 5.4 seconds to play. U-M went the length of the floor, but freshman guard Darius Morris (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward) had his shot blocked as time expired.
Alabama out-scored the Wolverines, 28-18, in the final seven-and-a-half minutes of the contest to earn the comeback victory.
The Wolverines jumped out quickly on Alabama, after the two teams traded baskets to open the scoring. Junior/sophomore guard Laval Lucas-Perry (Flint, Mich./Flint Powers Catholic) hit a triple and Harris scored four-straight points to give U-M an early 9-2 advantage.
Alabama narrowed the gap to three, 18-15, on a three-pointer midway through the first half before U-M responded with a 10-0 run. Fifth-year senior forward Zack Gibson (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) started the burst with a layup and Harris scored six during the stretch, four coming from the free-throw line, as the Maize and Blue took a 28-15 lead with 6:34 to play in the first half.
The Crimson Tide ended the opening 20 minutes with a 10-4 run to cut U-M's lead to five, 39-34, headed into the intermission. Harris led all scorers with 16 points in the first stanza; he also grabbed four rebounds and had three steals. Charvez Davis led Alabama with 12 points before the break.
U-M earned 12 trips to the free throw line in the first half, converting on 10 of those opportunities, and forced 12 Alabama turnovers. The Crimson Tide did not attempt a free throw in the half.
Trailing by three with just over 11 minutes to play, Alabama had a chance to tie the contest, but the Crimson Tide's triple try was missed and Lucas-Perry drained a three-pointer on the other end for a six-point swing. Following a media timeout, a basket by senior/junior forward Anthony Wright (Sterling, Va./Oak Hill Academy) helped the Wolverines build an eight-point cushion, 48-40.
An 11-2 Alabama run gave the Crimson Tide its first lead of the contest, 51-50, with 7:30 to play. The Wolverines and Crimson Tide traded the lead five times before the game's dramatic final minute.
Michigan shot just 24 percent (6-of-25) from beyond the three-point line, while Alabama was 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) from three-point range in the contest.
Green finished with 20 points and a team-high seven rebounds for Alabama.
The Wolverines will return to Crisler Arena on Wednesday night (Dec. 2) when they host Boston College in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423