Saturday, February 19, 2005
By Matt Hooper, UA Media Relations
TUSCALOOSA – Kennedy Winston led all scorers with 19 points as the Alabama Crimson Tide punished another conference opponent on its home court, defeating South Carolina, 87-68, on Saturday afternoon at Coleman Coliseum.
The win improves the Tide’s record to 21-4 on the season and 10-2 in conference play. Alabama has not started better than 10-2 in league play since the 1987 season, when the Tide began their SEC slate with a 12-1 mark on their way to a birth in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen. Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried was the starting senior point guard for that 1987 team. South Carolina falls to 14-9 overall and 6-6 in league play.
Alabama led 36-25 at the halftime break following a big first half from Jean Felix. The Bevill State transfer poured in eight points and shot better than 66 percent from behind the arc. Alabama’s second leading scorer, Earnest Shelton, was held without a field goal until the final seconds of the half.
“We were ahead by 11 points without Earnest really contributing,” Gottfried said. “In the second half, both Earnest and Kennedy Winston opened up the half with some big shots.”
It was Shelton that got the ball rolling in the second half, draining two three-pointers in the first minute and a half of the period. Not to be outdone, Winston matched his teammate with two straight treys of his own, followed quickly by another long shot by Shelton. Suddenly, Alabama’s 11-point lead at the half ballooned to 26 points five minutes into the second period.
Alabama, who was doubled up on the offensive boards in the first half, returned the favor in the second, out-rebounding the Gamecocks 36-30 overall. The Tide also moved the ball around the court skillfully, picking up 22 assists to South Carolina’s nine.
“The ball seemed to bounce right over our heads [in the first half,” Alabama forward Chuck Davis said. “In the second half we focused on boxing out and making sure we got a body on someone. Fortunately, the ball bounced our way a few times.”
Winston’s 19 led all scorers. Davis, who is still recovering from a bout with the flu, finished with 18 points, while Shelton added 16. Davis, Shelton and Felix each shared the rebounding lead with five.
Carlos Powell scored 17 points on six of 12 shooting from the field. Josh Garner added 15 points and Antoine Tisby scored 12. Tisby also pulled down seven rebounds, including five under his own basket, to lead both teams.
Alabama travels to Baton Rouge, La., on Tuesday, February 22, to face the LSU Tigers. The game is set to tip off at 8 p.m. from the Pete Maravich Center and will be televised as part of ESPN’s “Super Tuesday” lineup.
(Photos by Kent Gidley)
Tide legend Reggie King met up with Bama’s 2005 team at their shoot-around on Saturday morning.
Former Tide point guard Mo Williams greets current Bama point guard Ronald Steele.
Coach Mark Gottfried chats with former Tide coach C.M. Newton.
Tide legend Reggie King signs autographs for fans on Reggie King bobblehead day.
Evan Brock jams one home.
Jermareo Davidson follows a shot with a big jam.
Jermareo Davidson and Chuck Davis contest a Gamecock shot.
Chuck Davis shoots over a USC defender.
Chuck Davis takes the ball up hard to the basket.
Coach Mark Gottfried rallies the troops.
Justin Jonus shoots a three from the corner.
Reggie King thanks the fans as they cheer him with a standing ovation.
Earnest Shelton shoots one of his three pointers.
Ronald Steele puts up a reverse layup.
Kennedy Winston shoots a three pointer.
Coach Gottfried greets Mo Williams after a Tide victory.