The darling story of last season’s NCAA tournament, Virginia Commonwealth reached the Final Four with a veteran roster.A much younger sequel wasn’t supposed to be quite as good.
Not so, No. 13 Alabama learned Sunday night. The Rams threatened, before falling 72-64, in front of a small, but loud Coleman Coliseum crowd.
The Tide improved to 7-0 and extended its home-court winning streak to 24 after receiving quite a scare.
A 12-3 run late in the game rescued the Tide from a 57-54 deficit it faced with 6:00 remaining.
Alabama senior JaMychal Green returned from a hip pointer to lead the Tide with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Tony Mitchell, who left Wednesday’s win over Alabama A&M with an ankle sprain, started Sunday and scored 13.
The Rams (3-3) gave the Tide a taste of his high-intensity defense, forcing 14 turnovers. But Alabama pressure cracked VCU in the final few minutes as the Tide outscored the Rams 19-13 off turnovers.
Alabama also held a 40-24 advantage in the paint as VCU hung around by making 5-of-13 attempts from beyond the arc after halftime. The Tide went just 1-for-11 from 3-point range.
Read more tomorrow.
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