Rodney Cooper hit a 3-pointer with 12.2 seconds left to lift Alabama to a 65-62 win over Oregon State on Thursday night.
“My teammates are confident in me taking shots and if they have confidence in me, I just want to make the shot for my team,” Cooper said. “It means a lot making the shot, but it means even more to get the win for the team.”
This was a semifinal game in the 2K Sports Classic in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Alabama (3-0) will face Villanova (3-0) in the championship game Friday night. ESPN2 will have coverage at
6:30 p.m. Villanova advanced with an 89-81 overtime win over Purdue.
“I am excited to get the win and get the chance to play for a championship,” Tide coach Anthony Grant said. “I have to give Oregon State credit; we were able to get them down in the second half, they did a good job at fighting and making plays. I thought our guys did a good job at making the plays we had to make down the stretch, coming up with loose balls, and Cooper being able to knock down an open shot to give us the win. I am proud of our guys the way they continued to stay with it and fight.”
The Crimson Tide led the whole second half, including by 14 with fewer than 10 minutes to play, until Oregon State’s Devon Collier hit two foul shots to tie it 62-62 with 43 seconds left.
After Cooper’s 3-pointer, Oregon State turned over the ball, and Cooper had a chance to increase the lead. But his foul shot missed. The Beavers’ Roberto Nelson tried a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the shot missed.
Alabama’s Trevor Lacey continued his hot early season shooting by scoring 20 points, while making 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Cooper and Trevor Releford each had 12.