Miami Falls in NIT Quarterfinals at Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Freshman guard Trevor Releford scored 22 points to lead Alabama to a 79-64 victory over Miami in the quarterfinals of the NIT on Wednesday night.
Senior Senario Hillman, playing in his last game in Coleman Coliseum where Alabama went a school-record 19-0 this season, scored 17 points and set a school record with 175 career steals. Tony Mitchell had 16 points and JaMychal Green added 14 for Alabama (24-11).
The Crimson Tide will play Colorado in the semifinals in Madison Square Garden on March 29. Green and Mitchell both had nine rebounds for Alabama.
Alabama led by as many as 14 points in the first half, then withstood a Miami rally early in the second half before pulling away to the victory.
The Crimson Tide took a 17-6 lead and extended it 24-10 on a layup by Hillman with 11:02 left in then first half. Miami went on a 12-6 run to make it 30-22 when Malcolm Grant made a 3-pointer with 4:23 left. The Crimson Tide responded by scoring six of the next 10 points to lead 36-26 at halftime.
“Our advantage was our speed and quickness and that turned out to be very effective,” said Alabama coach Anthony Grant. “I thought we had success attacking them in transition.”
The Hurricanes opened the second half with a 15-6 run to pull within 42-41 on a fastbreak layup by Jones with 14:15 to play. Alabama outscored Miami 33-16 to push the lead to 75-57, matching its largest of the game, when Releford made a free throw with 2:09 to go.
“Their athleticism took over in the second half,” Miami coach Frank Haith said.
Coming to a Close
Update the Record Books
Registering three fouls this evening, Reggie Johnson set a new school record in personal fouls in a season with 116, edging Hammie Ward’s previous record of 115 set in 1991-92.
Durand Scott‘s 1,182 minutes on the court this season is second behind Guillermo Diaz’ school-record 1,196 in 2005-06, while Reggie Johnson’s 59.1 percent shooting from the field in 2010-11 is third-best in a single-season at Miami.
Grant — who leads the ACC in three-point field goal percentage, three-pointers per game and free throw percentage — has hit a three in 33-of-36 games this season.
Adrian Thomas snapped his 19-game three-point streak after finishing the evening scoreless. His 93 three-pointers this season are fourth most in a single season by a Hurricane, while his 204 career threes rank fifth. His 522 career long-range attempts rank fifth, while his 239 attempts this season are a new school record.
Cleaning the Glass
Johnson averaged 12.3 points — on 70.8 percent shooting (17-24) — and 12.0 rebounds an outing over the three NIT games.