Brooks scores 23, Oregon rallies for 72-68 win over Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The resurgent Oregon Ducks cleaned up their act in the second half, and left with another win.
Dillon Brooks scored 23 points and Tyler Dorsey made four free throws over the final 15 seconds to lift Oregon to a come-from-behind 72-68 win over Alabama Monday night at Legacy Arena.
The Ducks (10-2), once ranked as high as 15th, won their third straight game after battling injury problems. This time they trailed by 12 points at halftime before coming back from the locker room hot.
“We knew we had to pick it up in the first five minutes (of the second half) or the game could have gotten away,” Dorsey said. “We came out with a lot of energy and we got stops.”
Brooks made 9 of 15 shots and also dished out five assists for Oregon, which shot 53 percent in the second half and 32 in the first. Jordan Bell added 15 points, Chris Boucher 11 and Dorsey 10. Boucher and Dorsey were both scoreless at the half.
The Ducks had 12 assists and two turnovers in the second half. They had seven turnovers and four assists in the first.
“We moved the ball much crisper and turned down some good shots for some much better shots,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said.
Justin Coleman led Alabama (7-3) with a career-high 24 points and had six assists. Riley Norris scored 12 for the Tide, which came in riding a five-game winning streak.
“They didn’t back down,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. “We had a slow start to the second half but they came back.
“It’s a game of cycles. I told them that during the timeouts.”
Alabama leading scorer Retin Obasohan was 1-for-9 shooting for five points.
Elgin Cook, who had nine points and nine rebounds, hit a 3-pointer with 2:05 left to give Oregon a 68-65 lead. Altman called that “probably the shot of the game.”
Brooks, who fed him the ball, said he knew the shot would be good.
“I didn’t even have to look at him,” he said.
The Tide missed two straight 3s heading into the final minute.
Norris blocked Dorsey’s jumper and Alabama called time out with 40 seconds left. Norris missed a 3 at the other end and Dorsey grabbed the rebound before icing the game at the line.
The Ducks opened the second half on a 23-6 run to wipe out a 38-26 halftime deficit. The suddenly hot Boucher hit two straight 3-pointers and Bell added a one-handed dunk to give the Ducks a 47-44 lead 6 minutes into the half.
Oregon made seven straight field goals and scored 11 consecutive points to close the big run.
Oregon: Made 16 of 20 free throws. Committed just nine turnovers while forcing nine steals. ... Second visit to state of Alabama and first since a 79-69 loss to UAB on Dec. 5, 1989.
Alabama: No. 2 scorer Shannon Hale missed his second straight game with an unspecified medical condition. ...Played for seventh time in 10 games away from campus.
“We barked at them at halftime. We were really disappointed. They were disappointed.” — Oregon coach Dana Altman.
JUST JUSTIN: Coleman, who’s from Birmingham, accounted for all 12 points for either team during a first-half Tide surge. He had a basket and free throw on back-to-back trips and then buried two straight 3-pointers, then scored 10 straight Alabama points in one second-half stretch. Coleman has started the past three games after freshman point guard Dazon Ingram sustained a season-ending foot injury.
“He feels like he’s been given the key to the car and there are no other drivers,” Johnson said.
SECOND-HALF SURGE: Boucher, Dorsey and Cook scored all 30 of their combined points in the second half. Brooks carried much of the load with 15 points by halftime.
Oregon vs. Western Oregon on Dec. 29
Alabama vs. Jacksonville St. on Dec. 29