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No. 2 Alabama Escapes Providence 69-61

December 21, 2002

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) _ Erwin Dudley and Mo Williams each scored 19 points and No. 2 Alabama made another escape, beating Providence 69-61 on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide (8-0) had to overcome a 3-point assault from Romuald Augustin and went 7-of-8 from the free throw line over the final 1:34.

The Friars (4-3) trailed 64-59 with 1:13 left after Augustin hit two 3-pointers in a nine-second span. Providence didn’t score again until Augustin’s scoop shot with 18 seconds left.

Antoine Pettway hit two free throws with 26 seconds left and Williams and Earnest Shelton combined to make three of four after that.

Alabama led by just three points in the final two minutes before pulling away from Bowling Green last weekend.

Dudley bounced back from his worst game of the season, collecting 14 rebounds. He had just five points on 1-of-6 shooting against Bowling Green.

Williams had eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Ryan Gomes led Providence with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Augustin added 16 points, 13 in the second half. He scored Providence’s final 11 points and was 4-of-8 from 3-point range.

The Tide, which began a 20-0 run late in the first half, built a 53-37 lead on Pettway’s two free throws with 10:28 left.

Both teams struggled shooting, with Alabama hitting 36.2 percent and Providence 35.4 percent.

Alabama made 20 of 25 free throws while Providence attempted just eight, making six.

The Tide couldn’t get many open shots against the Friars’ zone defense in the first 16 minutes, missing seven straight shots as Providence rode a 9-0 run to a 27-21 lead with 5:12 left.

Providence wouldn’t score again before halftime as the Tide picked up the tempo for a 35-27 lead. Dudley started the 14-point barrage with a basket and free throw with 4:04 left.

Kenny Walker then scored on an alley oop from Williams, Terrence Meade hit a 3-pointer and Williams scooped up a loose ball and dunked in a two-minute span.

Providence coach Tim Welsh had seen enough, getting called for a technical foul protesting the lack of a foul call on Walker’s third block of the half.

Williams made both free throws and the Friars missed their final eight shots and committed five turnovers during the scoreless stretch.

Alabama also scored the first six points of the second half.

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