Men's Basketball Victorious in Season Opener, 97-66


Friday, November 19, 2004

Kennedy Winston
Kennedy Winston

» Box Score

The No. 18 ranked (AP) University of Alabama men’s basketball team (1-0) opened the 2004-05 season in blowout fashion with a 97-66 victory over the Western Carolina Catamounts (0-4) Friday night at Coleman Coliseum.  The Crimson Tide improves to 76-16 all-time in season openers.

Kennedy Winston led a quartet of Bama players in double figures with 24 points.  Earnest Shelton and Chuck Davis picked up where they left off from last season with each scoring 16 points.  Jean Felix scored 11 in his debut for the Tide.  Felix wowed the crowd of 8,891 fans with a thunderous dunk to cap a 14-2 run that put the Tide on top for good midway through the first half.

Another notable debut for Alabama was true freshman point guard Ronald Steele.  Steele became just the third true freshman to start an opening game for the Tide and although he scored only three points, he dished out seven assists and did not commit any turnovers in 28 minutes of play.

Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried was pleased with the play of his freshmen guards Steele and Albert Weber.

“I thought they did a good job,” Gottfried said.  “They’ve got a lot to learn and at times they looked like freshmen.  But they showed that they have potential too.  So again I think overall the guard play was pretty good.”

As a team, UA scorched the nets in the first half, shooting 58.6 percent from the field to jump out to a 21 point halftime advantage.  Alabama also out rebounded the Catamounts 46 to 36 for the game and took advantage of Carolina mistakes, outscoring WCU 22-6 off of turnovers.

David Berghoefer led WCU offensively with 23 points.  Also contributing for the Catamounts were Rans Brempong, who scored 11 points and Corey Muirhead with 10 points.

The Tide returns to action Sunday afternoon as Alabama plays host to North Texas before traveling to Anchorage, Ak. to play in the Great Alaska Shootout over the Thanksgiving holidays.  Tip-off for the game against the Mean Green is set for 3:30 p.m.  The game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.

Game Western Carolina 01
Chuck Davis takes the ball up strong.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Western Carolina 02
Jean Felix looks to get the ball inside.
(Photo by Michelle Lepianka)

Game Western Carolina 03
Ronald Steele goes up for the layup.
(Photo by Dusty Compton)