Alabama falls at home to Mercer, 66-59

Alabama lost at home Saturday to Mercer, 66-59.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama men's basketball team fell to the Mercer Bears, 66-59, in Saturday's game at Coleman Coliseum. Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide with 19 points and Rodney Cooper scored 17 points and led the team with seven rebounds. With the loss, the Tide falls to 7-4 on the season, while the Bears improve to 7-6 overall.

Mercer was led by Daniel Coursey's game-high 20 points. Travis Smith added 17 points and two other Mercer starters scored in double figure as Jakob Gollon and Langston Hall chipped in with 10 points each.

Alabama went 21-53 (39.6%) from the field, 4-14 (28.6%) from behind the three point arc and 13-20 (65%) from the foul line. The Bears shot 40.7 (22-54) percent from the field and outrebounded the Tide, 35-33, including 12 offensive boards, which led to 16 second chance points.{} Alabama used eight players in the game and had eight points from the bench.

Both teams got out to a slow start in the first half with the lead changing three times before the 10 minute mark. Trailing, 9-8, Alabama went on 14-2 run over the next seven minutes to open a 22-11 advantage with six minutes left in until halftime. The Tide's lead reached as many as 12 points, 25-13, before Mercer went on a 7-0 run to cut the UA advantage to five with 55 seconds remaining on the clock. Alabama, who scored 15 points off nine first half Mercer turnovers, held a 27-22 lead at the break.

Alabama was led in the first by Trevor Releford's nine points and two steals. Mercer's Daniel Coursey led all scorers in the first half with 10 points after putting up the Bears' first six points of the game.

Alabama came out strong in the second half, holding a 39-29 at the 13:48 mark, as Cooper scored seven of the Tide's first 10 points in the half. Alabama led 46-35 before Mercer went on a 31-13 run in the last 10:26 of the game. Alabama held the lead until the 5:52 mark, when Travis Smith's three-pointer put Mercer up 50-49.

The teams traded baskets and the lead five times for the last five minutes with Mercer coming out on top with eight unanswered points, five coming from the free throw line, in the last 1:19.

Alabama returns to action on Sunday, December 30, when it hosts the Tulane Green Wave. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m., from Coleman Coliseum.


Box Score

Alabama PTSREBASTBLKSTLTOMIN Releford, Trevor195102132Cooper, Rodney177211233Lacey, Trevor54301132Pollard, Devonta53112024Jacobs, Nick55011220Randolph, Levi54200134Obasohan, Retin31001114Gueye, Moussa02000111Total59339389200

Alabama FG3FGFT 1st Half:10-241-56-9{}41.7%20.0%66.7%2nd Half:11-293-97-11{}37.9%33.3%63.6%Total:21-534-1413-20{}39.6%28.6%65.0%

Mercer PTSREBASTBLKSTLTOMIN MOTEN, Darious2200005WHITE, Anthony Jr.1000008HALLICE, T.J.0101028BRYAN, Jibri0400017COURSEY, Daniel203011025SMITH, Travis173102432HALL, Langston105712137GOLLON, Jakob106411033BROWN, Monty4300018SMITH, Chris2000003THOMAS, Bud02100217CANEVARI, Kevin03300017Total6635164611200

Mercer FG3FGFT 1st Half:9-272-92-2{}33.3%22.2%100.0%2nd Half:13-276-1312-16{}48.1%46.2%75.0%Total:22-548-2214-18{}40.7%36.4%77.8%