Houston – no. 8. Alabama could have ended the day trailing by double digits early in the second half.
The Crimson Tide did not, and scored another big win this season.
Alabama bounced back from a 15-point second-half deficit to beat the No. 1 team. Houston led 71-65 on Saturday, becoming the fourth team to beat two different AP numbers. 1s in the same season.
Noah Clowney had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jaden Bradley had 12 and Mark Sears had 11, including nine in the second half for the Crimson Tide (8-1). Alabama shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and 41 percent from the field from the field. Tide made 20 of 32 free throws and 15 of 21 free throws in the second half.
“It’s one of those personal victories that shows our players are going to keep fighting no matter what the score is,” Alabama coach Nate Oates said. “We could have given up 15 points easily. The second half didn’t start well. We made some changes with the bench players. Hanging there, leading the way, eventually being able to take the lead and then we left them.
On November 11, the Crimson Tide beat North Carolina State 103-101 in four overtimes. 27.
“Huge planning win,” Oats said. “Not sure how many teams have the opportunity to play two No. 1 teams in a non-league game, let alone beat them, but I think it shows that we have completed the project and that we can build on it at this point. Play online with anyone in the country.”
Jamal Shead had 19 points and six rebounds, Tramon Mark had 10 points and Houston (9-1) fouled with 8:10 left.
“That’s the No. 8 team in the country,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “There’s no shame in losing to a really, really good Alabama team. Obviously disappointing. We didn’t have a lot to lose in this building.”
The Cougars shot 39 percent from the field, including 1-for-8 to close the game. Houston shot 3 of 13 from 3-point range and 12 of 22 from the free throw line.
“We just couldn’t defend,” Scheider said. “We didn’t get in front of the ball four or five times in a row, and that’s how they got back into the offense. And we weren’t strong enough to finish it. “
Marcus Sasser made a free throw with two minutes left to tie the game at 63. Then Clowney scored a layup with 1:12 left to put the Tide up by 2, Shead missed a jumper with 48 seconds left, and Brandon Miller made two free throws 5 seconds later to extend the lead to 4. point.
After Reggie Chaney missed two free throws, Miller made two free throws and Alabama took a 69-63 lead with 27 seconds left.
Trailing 57-49 with 8.5 minutes left, the Tide cut the lead to 61-60 with an 11-3 run before Joker made a layup with five minutes left.
Houston ended the first half 18-2 and started the second, leading 44-29 on a steal and layup by Jarace Walker with 17:13 left, but Alabama responded with a 15-5 spurt in the With 11 minutes left in the game, Sears’ 3-pointer led by five.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.