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“I thought the fight in thesecond half; the resiliency wasawesome,” Grant said. “AndrewSteele, our senior, did a tremen-dous job throughout the game,keeping our guys focused andmotivated and on-task in termsof what we needed to do. Wealways talk about it being a40-minute game that we have toplay, stay the course and play allthe way through.”Steele, a fifth-year seniorwho had lost here twice, carriedAlabama offensively along withLacey. Steele made three clutch3-pointers to keep Alabamaclose and fuel the Tide’s sec-ond half run. But his biggestcontribution came during everyhuddle.“I tried to tell them to keepfighting,” Steele, who scored aseason-high 13 points, said. “Atevery media timeout, we had cutthe lead by a certain margin. I just kept reminding them, ‘Justchip away, chip away.’ We keptchipping away. … I had full con-fidence that we would win thegame. I didn’t know how it wouldcome about, but not for one sec-ond did our team stop believingthat we would get the win.”The Crimson Tide (14-7, 6-2SEC), will next be in action Feb.6 when it travels to take on theAuburn Tigers. Tipoff is slatedfor 7 p.m. and will be televisedon the SEC Network.
FROM PAGE 1
Rally in second half gives Tide edge, win
The ninth-ranked Alabamawomen’s tennis team earneda 6-1 victory over SMU onSunday at the NorthwoodCountry Club. With the win,the Crimson Tide moves to 4-0on the season while the lossdrops the Mustangs to 1-3.“It was good to be battle test-ed on the road this weekend,”said Alabama head coachJenny Mainz. “Both TCU andSMU were good teams and thematches were competitive. Wekeep talking about finding ourway back into matches whenwe are down, and we did agood job of that all weekend.We had to work for today’swin. I thought we competedwell and fought in every spot.It was a good test for us, andwe got some good qualitymatches under our belts.”Alabama got wins in dou-bles from courts two and threeto claim the first point of thematch. From the No. 2 spot,senior Antonia Foehse andfreshman Maya Jansen toppedSMU senior Edyta Ciepluchaand freshman Elena Fayner,8-3, while the win on courtthree went in favor of Tidesophomores Yasmeen Ebadaand Emily Zabor, 8-2, oversophomore Holly Verner andfreshman Hristina Dishkova.In singles, Alabamaposted victories on courtstwo through six to seal theteam win. Tide senior AlexaGuarachi, playing on courttwo, came back from a first-set loss to beat Malyarchikova,4-6, 6-3, 10-7 while Jansendowned freshman VasziliszaBulgakova, 6-3, 6-3, on courtthree. On court four, Foehsecollected a 6-0, 6-4 victory overFayner while Zabor notched a6-1, 6-1 victory over Verner atthe No. 5 spot. Wrapping playup on court six was freshmanNatalia Maynetto, who toppedDishkova, 6-4, 6-0.Next up, Alabama travelsto Charlottesville, Va., forthe 2013 ITA National TeamIndoor Championships, whichwill begin on Friday, Feb. 8.
9th-ranked Tide rolls over SMU, 6-1
From MCT Campus
WASHINGTON – Fears of arecession seemed to evaporateas the nation added 157,000 net jobs last month and other keyeconomic data improved, boost-ing major stocks to their highestlevel in more than five years.Economists and investorswere heartened by the LaborDepartment’s jobs reportFriday, which suggested thatgrowth accelerated at the endof last year. The new economicreadings – a mix of federaland private data – contrastedwith Wednesday’s governmentreport that the economy con-tracted at a 0.1 percent annualrate in the last three months of 2012.The January jobs report,which also showed the unem-ployment rate ticked up to7.9 percent, was about in linewith analysts’ expectations.But revised job-growth figuresshowed the labor market wasmuch stronger at the end of 2012than previously thought, indi-cating surprising momentum in2013.Revised government datashowed that the economy added335,000 more jobs than original-ly estimated during all of 2012,including an additional 150,000in the last quarter of the year.That was on top of the previ-ously reported fourth-quarter job growth of 603,000 and 2012growth of 2.2 million. The newfigures mean that, on average,the economy added 181,000 jobseach month last year, up fromthe earlier estimate of 153,000.The higher revisions, inparticular, encouraged trad-ers on Wall Street, sending theDow Jones industrial averageover the 14,000-point mark forthe first time since 2007. “Theeconomy’s the little enginethat could,” said JJ Kinahan,chief derivatives strategist forTD Ameritrade. “It’s slowlyclimbing.”The small shortfall in thefourth quarter’s gross domesticproduct – the value of all goodsand services produced nation-wide – marked the first contrac-tion since the Great Recessionended in mid-2009 and raisedworries that another downturnwas ahead. Many economistsquickly said the report appearedto be an anomaly driven by fearsof the “fiscal cliff,” and Friday’sdata gave more credence to thatview.“We had some pretty good jobgrowth in the fourth quarter,”said Stuart Hoffman, chief econ-omist at PNC Financial Services.“You don’t get that kind of jobgrowth if the economy is legiti-mately flat on its behind.”Still, job growth has beenmodest compared with previ-ous recoveries, and economistssaw little in January’s report tosuggest that hiring would pickup soon. And the January figurealso looked worse in comparisonto the revised December figure.The unemployment rate rosefrom 7.8 percent in December.“I think it’s going to be a toughslog here,” said Joshua Shapiro,chief U.S. economist for MFRInc. “There are plenty of head-winds out there for the econo-my. The cost of hiring somebodyis great, with benefit costs andeverything, and unless com-panies really absolutely needsomeone, they’re not going tohire.”Last month, the private sec-tor added 166,000 jobs, but over-all growth was pulled down bya net loss of 9,000 government jobs, the Labor Departmentsaid. Sectors that showed jobgains included retail, construc-tion and health care, whiletransportation and warehous-ing declined.“It’s a bit of an underwhelm-ing report,” said Peter McHenry,an assistant economics profes-sor at the College of Williamand Mary. “We’ve still got just avery slow recovery – certainly arecovery – but not anything tobe really excited about.”The construction industryadded 28,000 jobs in January.Some economists had expectedmore, given the damage fromsuperstorm Sandy last fall. Butthe increase was “validationthe housing market contin-ues to gain momentum,” saidDiane Swonk, chief economist atMesirow Financial.Since bottoming out inJanuary 2011 after the hous-ing collapse, the constructionindustry has added 296,000 jobs,the Labor Department said.One-third of that gain came inthe past four months. “A quar-ter ago, you’d say the housingmarket had stabilized,” Kinahansaid. “Now you can say the hous-ing market is starting to grow.”In another positive signfor the sector, the CommerceDepartment said Friday thatconstruction spending increased0.9 percent in December fromthe previous month, to an annu-al rate of $885 billion.The manufacturing sectorexpanded for the second straightmonth, the Institute for SupplyManagement said. Jobs in themanufacturing sector haveshown little change since thesummer, the Labor Departmentsaid. And consumer confidencealso improved slightly lastmonth after Washington policy-makers avoided most of the taxincreases slated to kick in Jan. 1as part of the fiscal cliff.The closely watched con-sumer sentiment index fromThomson Reuters and theUniversity of Michigan rose to73.8 in January from 72.9 theprevious month. One tax changethat was not avoided – the expi-ration of the two-year payrolltax cut – held down consumerconfidence, said Richard Curtin,the survey’s chief economist.The higher payroll tax, whichstarted showing up in paychecksin early January, was a drag on job growth, economists said.More potential problems arelooming as Congress must dealwith automatic spending cutsset to hit March 1. And anoth-er battle over the nation’s debtlimit could be coming this sum-mer after Congress approved atemporary increase last month.Swonk said such “fiscal landmines” could derail the recov-ery. Although the nation doesnot appear headed toward reces-sion again – commonly definedas two straight quarters of con-traction – the economy remainsfragile, Swonk said.
Jobs numbers kindle optimism for recovery
From MCT Campus
As an Alabama boy spenthis fifth day holed up in anunderground bunker with hiskidnapper, authorities thankedthe man Saturday for caringfor the child but remainedtight-lipped about whether hehad made any demands.Dale County Sheriff WallyOlson said negotiators werein “constant contact” with thekidnapping suspect, believedto be 65-year-old Jimmy LeeDykes, whom neighbors char-acterized as menacing andprone to violent outbursts.One neighbor said Dykes blud-geoned her dog to death with alead pipe after it roamed ontohis property.Speaking through a 4-inchventilation pipe, Dykes toldnegotiators he has electricheaters and blankets in thebunker, Olson said.Authorities also providedcoloring books, toys and medi-cation for the boy, believed tobe 5 years old and identified byneighbors as Ethan. He is saidto have Asperger’s syndromeand attention-deficit hyperac-tivity disorder.“I want to thank him fortaking care of our child,” Olsonsaid in a televised news con-ference Saturday. “That’s veryimportant.”Olson declined to answera reporter’s question aboutwhether Dykes had made anydemands.The hostage situation beganTuedsay afternoon, authoritessaid, when a gunman snatchedEthan from a school bus aftershooting and killing the driver,Charles Albert Poland Jr.Dykes’ neighbor MichaelCreel told the Associated Presshe suspected the standoff wasa way to make a political state-ment. “I believe he wants torant and rave about politicsand government. He’s veryconcerned about his prop-erty. He doesn’t want his stuff messed with,” Creel said.
Alabama abduction: Sheriff thanks man for ‘taking care of our child’