After a slow start for the Crimson Tide in Coleman Coliseum the guys bounced right back. They would play like a team that I, as a fan, have not seen this year.
The Crimson Tide would fight back after falling 9-1 in the first few minutes of the game. Seemingly in a moment, the Tide was on top; leading the No. 5 team in the nation.
What a proud few moments for Bama's fans.
From the last ten or so minutes in the first half, the Tide seemed to be invincible. Even into the first few minutes after halftime they seemed to have things under control.
However, Purdue's Boilermakers fought back. Boy, did they fight back.
Suddenly, the men in black seemed to be quicker, stronger, and more determined.
They would rally together and catch up to the Tide, who at one point had a substantial 18 point lead. In the end, the Boilermakers found a way to make it work.
"Like great teams do, they dug in," Tide coach Anthony Grant said. "They handled the adversity and their defense really won the game for them."
Now, on to why. Why did the Tide let this win slip away from them?
There is a lot to be said about playing against the No. 5 team in our country. However as a fan, I found it hard to swallow that we would let them come back and beat us on our home court.
First: The Tide played sound offense in the first half. Yet, later in the game, the players seemed to get tired. No profound statement there. Mikhall Torrance seemed to not come out of the game at all.
I believe this had a huge impact on the late performance of the Tide. Had they had fresh legs, they may have fared more favorable / formidable.
Second: In my preview of this game I made the statement, in order for us to disrupt the Purdue offense, we must get rebounds. Seemingly (like the offense) we did well in the first half gaining our rebounds and getting back down the court.
However, in the latter part of the second half the rebounding seemed to come to a standstill. This would only serve to put a nail in the coffin.
Thirdly, The amount of penalties late in the game would hurt Bama beyond repair. As the players got tired, they began to have mental breakdowns: costly mental breakdowns.
Finally: For those who have played a sport, you know how vital fan support can be. The number of times that the Purdue faithful screamed, "Boiler UP!" made me feel like we were on their court.
I will applaud each and every fan who made the trip for the Boilermakers. They would be in my opinion, the determining factor that helped their team come back and win a nail biter over the Crimson Tide.
In a heart-breaking loss the Tide fell 73-65.
I am extremely proud of our players. They played a hard fought battle and made it fun to watch. I will maintain that Coach Grant is an amazing addition to restoring our program to greatness.
So Crimson Tide fans, do not loose heart! We have only yet begun to fight!