Close games can make or break a season, and so far for Alabama, one-possession contests are making the Tide’s year. Alabama has won seven of its 10 games decided by four or fewer points, including four of the last five.
“The fight we’ve shown this season has been good,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said.
The attitude required for closing out games may not stem from the right combination of words from Grant in an on-court huddle, but from one of his most consistent mantras.
“Coach always tells us to stay the course and it’s a 40-minute game,” sophomore guard Levi Randolph said. “If we do that, we’ll have a chance to win every single game.”
However, Alabama been forced to fight off some rough starts to earn close wins. In Alabama’s last action against Vanderbilt, the Crimson Tide mustered only eight points in the first ten minutes of the game. Alabama had a similar pace in the 59-56 win over Arkansas, scoring five points in the first five minutes of the game, and in the 50-49 win over Texas A&m, scoring 15 points in the entire first half.
“Well, it’s not by design,” Grant said. “I like to play with the lead, to be honest with you. Like Levi said, it’s going to be a 40-minute game. You can never get too high or too low.
“We’ve had some games where we’ve started off well, built a lead and at the end of the half, had some lulls. I think the biggest thing is consistency.”
Contributed by Brett Hudson
Alabama basketball news conference video: