A tough year got even tougher for the Alabama men's basketball team as they dropped another big conference game at home to the Georgia Bulldogs 66-65 in overtime.  The loss brings the Tide's season record to 16-11, and just 6-8 in SEC play.  With those numbers, any chance of a berth in the NCAA Tournament comes down to winning the SEC tournament, which seems to be a pipe dream at best.  It was another game marked by bad offensive execution, foul trouble and failure to execute in clutch situations.

The Georgia Bulldogs came into this game needing a win almost as badly as the Tide.  After once being a sure thing for an NCAA berth, a string of losses threatened to derail their season, and even with a win tonight they have work to do to impress the selection committee.  The first half was about as ugly as you can get offensively.  Alabama went almost six minutes without a point and with under four minutes to play in the half had just 11 points.  Both teams got aggressive towards the end and the half ended with a 24-24 tie.

The second half featured much better basketball from both teams.  Fast agressive play le to 37 points for each team after halftime.  However, Alabama suffered from poor free throw shooting throughout the half, going just 7 for 18 from the charity stripe.  Poor execution down the stretch once again led to Alabama squandering a buzzer-beater opportunity without ever getting a shot off. The teams were even on rebounds, but the Bulldogs were able to outscore the Tide on 2nd chance points 8-3 and scored 12 points on 11 Tide turnovers.

Overtime was mostly back-and-forth between the teams, with few possessions ending without a foul.  Once again, the Tide struggled, making just two of four from the line and allowing Georgia to climb back from any deficit they faced.  Georgia hit a floater to go up by one with six seconds left, and without any timeouts left Alabama's Retin Obasohan raced down the court but had his shot blocked out of bounds with just one second left.  On the inbound pass, Rodney Cooper was unable to get a shot off in time as he attempted a head-fake trying to draw a foul.

Obasohan was a bright spot for the Tide tonight.  The junior guard from Belgium had 16 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.  He was also active on defense, registering two blocks on fast breaks for the Bulldogs.  Freshman guard Riley Norris added 14 points and five rebounds for the Tide.  Senior guard Rodney Cooper had 11.

Alabama has just four more games left before the SEC Tournament.  On Tuesday they will host the South Carolina Gamecocks, a team that beat Alabama in Columbia earlier this season.  The Tide get another chance for redemption next weekend when they travel to Vanderbilt.  Games against Ole Miss and at Texas A&M close out the schedule for Alabama.

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