The Alabama men’s basketball team (7-3) dropped a thriller, 72-68, to the Oregon Ducks (10-2) in the inaugural Vulcan Classic Monday night at Birmingham’s Legacy Arena. The Crimson Tide received an outstanding performance from sophomore guard and Birmingham native Justin Coleman, who poured in a career-high 24 points.

After falling behind 8-5 in the opening minutes, Coleman went on a 12-0 run on his own to put Alabama in front 17-8. Coleman’s run was capped by consecutive treys. The Tide led by 12, its largest lead of the half, going into the locker room thanks to holding Oregon to 9-of-28 from the floor. Offensively, Alabama shot 14-for-25 from the field, including draining five of its eight attempts from behind the arc.

The Ducks came out of the break energized, hitting eight of their first nine shots, which included three baskets from deep. Oregon put together a quick 11-0 stretch in the early minutes to surge ahead 47-44. The Tide was playing from behind for almost the rest of the half, but one last push by Coleman tied the game at 60-60 at the 5:48 mark. Alabama would even the game once more thanks to five straight from sophomore Riley Norris, but a three-pointer by Ducks senior Elgin Cook gave Oregon the lead for good at 68-65.

Alabama will take a break for the holidays and return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 29 when it plays host to the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. CT.

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