CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Kennedy Winston did all he could to keep
Alabama in the game and then delivered when the Crimson Tide needed
Winston scored a career-high 33 points and hit a 16-foot jumper
with 20.5 seconds left in the third overtime to give No. 22 Alabama
a 102-101 win over Charlotte on Saturday night.
"I was exhausted," said Winston, who also added 10 rebounds in
53 minutes. "I just wanted to get it over with."
Winston forced overtime when he made an 18-footer with 2.9
seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 78-all. That
shot capped a rally which saw Alabama (6-1) rally from a
seven-point deficit in the final three minutes.
"Kennedy stepped up and made big play after big play," Alabama
coach Mark Gottfried said. "He's done that for us before."
Earnest Shelton added 21 points for the Crimson Tide, who won
despite having to rely heavily on reserves as the extra periods
wore on. Alabama lost starters Chuck Davis, Ronald Steele and
Jermareo Davidson to fouls.
Curtis Withers led five 49ers (3-2) in double figures with 24
points, all in regulation. Eddie Badsen added 19 points, six of
them coming in the third overtime, the last two on a driving dunk
with 46.4 seconds remaining that gave the 49ers their final lead,
After Winston's jumper gave Alabama the lead, Charlotte had a
chance to win but Mitchell Baldwin missed a jumper.
Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said Winston was the difference.
"He's played 53 minutes and he's still making jump shots at the
end of the game," Lutz said. "That's a credit to his
conditioning. He's a great player."
Charlotte led by as many as three in the second overtime, but
couldn't shake Alabama. The Crimson Tide forced overtime when
Shelton fed Davidson inside for a bucket with less than 30 seconds
left to tie it at 93.
Both teams led in the first overtime, with Brendan Plavich's
tying the game for Charlotte at 83-all with his fifth 3-pointer
with 1:05 remaining. The Crimson Tide had a final shot, but
Winston's off-balance 3-point attempt was off the mark.