Saturday , Jan , 20 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Steele lifts Alabama past Georgia

Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) – Alonzo Gee scored 21 points for the Crimson
Tide, but Ronald Steele was the hero, as his leaning jumper fell through as
the buzzer sounded to give 10th-ranked Alabama a 78-76 comeback victory over
the Georgia Bulldogs.

Alabama (15-3, 2-2 SEC) trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half, and
by 11 points late in the second half, but closed the game with a 16-3 run to
take the win.

Jermareo Davidson scored 16 points for Alabama, which had lost two of three
entering the game, and was coming off an ugly 94-73 loss at Vanderbilt on
Wednesday. Mykal Riley scored 17 points, and Steele finished with 13 points
for the Crimson Tide.

Sundiata Gaines led Georgia (11-6, 3-2) with 22 points, six assists, and six
rebounds. Takais Brown scored 21 points and grabbed 10 boards for the
Bulldogs, and Mike Mercer scored 15 in the loss. Levi Stukes added 12 points
for the Georgia, which had a three-game winning streak snapped with the loss.

Steele held the ball on the final possession, draining the clock down under 10
seconds before moving to his left, where he appeared to be tied up by three
Georgia defenders. Steele stopped, pivoted in a circle, and appeared to walk
before letting go of the leaner that went in. No travel call was made, though,
giving Alabama the win.

Steele’s game-winner came after he drilled a three-pointer from well behind
the line at the top of the key, tying the game at 76-76 with 54.1 seconds

The Bulldogs opened the game red-hot, scoring the game’s first 15 points, and
leading 18-2 after a Gaines three-pointer nearly four minutes into the first

The Crimson Tide answered, though, rolling off a 10-2 run, with two Steele
free throws bringing Alabama to within 20-12. The Georgia lead bulged on the
strength of an 11-1 run later in the first half. Stukes capped the stretch
with a three-point play, and the free throw put the Bulldogs ahead 41-22 with
about 5 1/2 minutes remaining.

Georgia led 50-35 at the intermission.

Game Notes

Alabama has won 17 straight at home, a streak that has spanned more than a
year. The last home loss for the Crimson Tide came on January 7 of last
year, to Mississippi…Gaines hit 5-of-6 from behind the arc.