AP Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Cleanthony Early scored 26 points and Fred VanVleet made two free throws with 11 seconds left to lift No. 11 Wichita State to a 72-67 victory over Alabama on Tuesday night.
Early scored nine straight points for Wichita State (11-0) during one late stretch and the Shockers extended the program's best start, answering every time the Crimson Tide (5-5) threatened to overtake them.
Rodney Cooper's 3-pointer brought Alabama to 65-64 with 1:57 remaining. VanVleet responded with a basket and Darius Carter scored on a putback with 37 seconds remaining after Trevor Releford hit two free throws. Alabama collected a long rebound but Retin Obasohan's 3-pointer missed, forcing Alabama to foul.
VanVleet iced the game at the line.
Early made 7 of 11 from the field and hit all 11 free throw attempts. The Shockers were 25 of 27 from the line.
Trevor Releford led Alabama with 22 points.
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