By (Tyler Waldrep)

With 40 seconds remaining in the game, Alabama trailed
Oregon by three points and the game’s top scorer, Justin Coleman, sat on the
Alabama bench.

At the time Coleman looked exhausted. He had already scored
a career-high 24 points, but there was no time to rest his team needed him back
out there.

Instead with 19 seconds remaining in the game Riley Norris
took a shot from behind the arc to tie the game. Norris had already made two
three-point baskets earlier in the game, but this time the ball missed the mark
and Alabama went on to lose 72-68.

“It’s a tough loss. I hate losing, but we shouldn’t keep our
heads down,” Norris said. “We played tough tonight I thought and we will be
ready when we come back from Christmas break.”

Coleman did not attempt the final shot for Alabama, but in
the final seconds he did pick up his sixth assist for a new career-high. After
the game, he said it was great to be back where he won three state
championships in high school.

“It reminded me of high school a lot,” Coleman said. “It’s [a] great atmosphere, great time, my family gets to be here. It’s hard for them to
get to Tuscaloosa.”

Alabama turned the ball over five times in the first nine
minutes of the second half and Oregon took a lead it held onto or shared for
the remainder of the game.

“We came out slow we kind of stuck a little bit on offense,”
Norris said. “Oregon’s a really good team, really well coached and they
capitalized on our turnovers and so it kind of gave them the momentum and we
struggled to get it back for most of the second half.”

After the game coach Avery Johnson said he expected to win this game, even in the final minutes. Despite the loss, Johnson found some positives in the team’s performance.

“Hard fought game tonight I’m really proud of our guys,”Johnson said. “I told my guys if you’d told me June 1st in the start of our summer skill work -individual workouts- that we’d be 7-3 going into Christmas break, I’ll take it.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports