Nov. 2, 2010
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men’s basketball team opened up the 2010-11 basketball season with a 96-60 victory over Talladega in an exhibition game Tuesday night at Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide used a balanced scoring attack throughout the game to earn the win, as five players finished with at least 10 points, led by freshman Trevor Releford’s 17 points.
“I think having the opportunity to play Talladega was good for our team,” head coach Anthony Grant stated. “Obviously they’re an in-state opponent, and I have a lot of respect for Coach (William) Brown and the program he’s running. His team came out and played with great purpose and really attacked us.”
Alabama opened the game on a 10-2 run, capped off by a JaMychal Green dunk. Talladega would hang around for most of the first half, putting together an 11-2 run of their own to claim a 22-16 lead with 10:49 left in the half. The Tornadoes hit three treys in that stretch, finishing the half 5-of-16 from beyond the arc. The six-point lead was the biggest of the game for Talladega, as the Tide reclaimed the lead for good at 28-26 thanks to a layup by senior Senario Hillman. Alabama pieced together a 15-0 spurt late in the half and went into the break leading the Tornadoes 46-35.
Alabama would take a 20-point lead early in the second half, and Talladega would trail by double digits the rest of the way. The Tornadoes went cold in the second half, hitting just 8-of-32 from the field and 1-of-11 from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Tide shot a scorching 18-of-35 (51.4 percent) from the field in the second half. Alabama took its biggest lead, a 40-point advantage, with just over a minute remaining in the game. The Tide outscored Talladega 50-25 in the second half and finished the game with a decisive 60-22 point advantage in the paint.
For the night, Alabama shot an even 50 percent from the floor, hitting 36 of its 72 shots, while the Tornadoes shot 33.3 percent from the field. Alabama had a huge advantage in the rebounding department, hauling in 53 boards to only 35 for Talladega. The Tide managed to break even in assist-to-turnover ratio with 19 of each. The Tornadoes committed a total of 24 turnovers on the night and dished out only eight assists.
For Alabama, Green finished with 16 points, while Hillman tossed in 15. Sophomore Tony Mitchell also chipped in 12 points and junior Kendall Durant finished with 10 for the night. Talladega’s Kerry Harvis finished as the game’s leading scorer, pouring in 20 points. The Tornadoes finished with four players in double digits.
“There are certainly a lot of things we can take from this game and hopefully it will help us get better,” Grant added. “That’s the focus this time of year, and that’s what you want to do every year as a basketball team – take these opportunities and learn where you need to improve and where you need to help the team grow. There are some definite opportunities for that and that’s what we’re going to try to get out of this.”
Alabama will be back in action at Coleman Coliseum Monday, Nov. 8 for its second exhibition game of the season against the University of Alabama in Huntsville Chargers, with the game tipping off at 7 p.m. CT.