By Kyle Murphy, UA Media Relations
With All-American point guard Ronald Steele back in the lineup, the No. 6 University of Alabama men’s basketball team defeated the Tennessee State Tigers 78-60 Saturday afternoon in front of 10,215 fans at Coleman Coliseum.
After sitting out the past two games with tendonitis in his right knee, Steele came back to score 12 points, all three-pointers, and had five assists for the Tide. He shot 50% from the field and had two steals.
“I was really excited to get a chance to play,” Steele said. “Sitting out those two games was torture for me. I was in a little pain but as the game went on I got better. The key thing is to keep it loose at all times.”
Senior Jermareo Davidson led the Tide with 22 points and eight rebounds, only two rebounds away from scoring his sixth double-double in six games. Davidson shot 8-for-17 from the field and was 6-for-8 from the free throw line. He also led all players with five blocks.
Two other players scored in double figures for Bama. Alonzo Gee had 11 points on the afternoon, shooting 4-for-6 from the field. He was 3-for-7 from the free throw line and had three blocks. Mykal Riley had 14 points, shooting 5-for-8 from the field, including going 4-for-6 from behind the three point line.
“One thing we do need is practice,” said Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried. “We’re just not in a great rhythm yet. Ron played really well for coming back. We’re doing some things really well, and then we turn around and do some things poorly. We defend really well, but then we turn around and don’t finish it with a defensive rebound.
“Tennessee State is bigger than anyone we’ve played all year, and they’ve got a good basketball team with a great chance to do well in the conference.”
Tennessee State (2-3) was led by Clarence Matthews who scored 17 points. The Tigers had three other players in double figures. Moraye Ivy scored 15, Ladarious Weaver scored 12 and Larry Turner contributed a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Alabama (7-0) returns to Coleman Coliseum Saturday, December 9 when it takes on Alabama State. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Tide will hit the road for the first time since traveling to the Virgin Islands when it takes on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana on Thursday, December 7. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN.