The University of Alabama’s men’s wheelchair basketball team [17-9, 15-7] kicked off their annual Collegiate Classic tournament in a big way on Friday, first defeating rival Auburn 69-37 at the Student Recreation Center, and then moving to Foster Auditorium to face UT Arlington in their biggest home game of the season.

Under the big lights of Foster, Alabama fell in a heartbreaker to the Movin’ Mavs, 55-56. Trailing up to 10 points, the Crimson Tide never gave up, taking the lead late in the second half. However, UTA pushed back, refusing to give the lead away again. Freshman Michael Auprince led Alabama with 19 points, with DQ Robinson, who scored a field goal in the final seconds, finished with 14. UTA’s Andreas Kraft led all scorers with 26. For Freshman Jordan Bartley, even in a loss, there was a lot of positives for the future.

“I’m very pleased with our efforts,” Bartley said. “To think, we faced this team at the start of the year (a 55-68 loss), and now we finally got face them in our house… Our atmosphere was great from the fans, and I was really impressed with the boys and the turnaround in the fourth, and it definitely gives us motivation going into Nationals.”

Alabama is now 17-9 overall and 15-7 in conference.  They kick off play at the Wheelchair Basketball National Championships on March 10th in Edinboro, PA as the 3 seed.  Roll Tide!