It took another hard fought 40 minutes for Avery Johnson and the Alabama Crimson Tide to escape a home victory defeating the Rhode Island Rams 68-64.

The Crimson Tide largest lead of the game was 13 until the Rams stormed back lead by guard Jarvis Garrett 18 points and tying the game up with 1:44 left in the game. Led by five players who scored in double figures, the Crimson Tide maintained their lead and won their seventh game of the season.

Alabama Head Coach Avery Johnson spoke to the media after the game and addressed the teams struggle with handling the ball, season-high 24 turnovers in the game, forward Donta Hall and his production on and off the court, and how he loves to watch Rhode Island on TV when he isn't watching the SEC.

He also thanked the fans in his opening statement for making a difference in yet another home game and another close one in Coleman Coliseum.

"I want to say thank you to our fans, but especially out students,” Coach Johnson said. “Our student section was rocking tonight. Their energy had an effect on the entire crowd tonight, so thank you. We let you down the last game, all of our fans. I just want to say a special thank you. I have been going to fraternity houses to give speeches. I’ve been all over campus and I challenged our students that if you want a special basketball team, we need your support. Thank you to the students."

Unfortunately for Johnson, those fans won't be in attendance this weekend as they travel to Arizona to play the Wildcats. He said in his presser former teammates Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott as well as current Alabama AD Greg Byrne, who was a former AD at Arizona, warned him about the atmosphere he'll be up against on Saturday and also says this Wildcats team is tougher than their schedule says.

Tipoff for Alabama's meeting with the Arizona Wildcast begins at 9 p.m. with coverage beginning here at 8 p.m. and will also be televised on ESPN2. For more of Johnson's presser make sure you check out the video above the article.

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