Tuesday, November 15, 2005
by Kyle Murphy, UA Media Relations
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The 14th ranked Alabama men's basketball team received its first test of the 2005-06 season Tuesday night, defeating the Miami RedHawks 64-58 in the opening round of the Preseason NIT in the newly renovated Coleman Coliseum.
The Crimson Tide found itself in a 31-31 deadlock with the RedHawks at the end of the first half, but bounced back in the second half on the shoulders of Preseason All-SEC players Chuck Davis, Jermareo Davidson, Ronald Steele, and freshman Alonzo Gee.
Davis, a senior from Selma, led the Crimson Tide with 19 points and nine rebounds. Davidson and Steele both scored in double figures for Bama with 10 points each, including a combined 11 in the second half.
Three Crimson Tide freshmen made their Coleman Coliseum debuts Tuesday night which included last year’s Mr. Basketball in the state of Alabama Richard Hendrix, last year’s Alabama 6A Player of the Year Brandon Hollinger, and Gee, a former Florida Mr. Basketball candidate.
Gee led the freshmen class with eight points, all coming off fast breaks in the second half. The freshman forward from Palm Beach, Florida also led all players with three steals.
William Hatcher led the RedHawks with 13 points and 8 assists. Michael Bramos, Tim Pollitz, and Nathan Peavy each scored in double figures for Miami.
“Miami is an excellent, well coached basketball team,” said Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried.
“We did not guard the ball very well, but our zone helped us a little bit and we were able to guard them a little better. Our guys stepped up and played. I thought Alonzo Gee gave us a big lift. Games like this help you evaluate where you’re good and where you’re not. Obviously we have a quick turnaround, so we have to get ready to play.”
With the win, Alabama advances to the second round of the Preseason NIT to host the 12th ranked Memphis Tigers in a top 15 showdown at Coleman Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. and will be nationally televised on ESPN2.