Wednesday, December 22, 2004
» Box Score
By Chris Woodfin
Leading 52-50 with 9:07 remaining in the contest, the No. 19 (AP) University of Alabama basketball team’s big three of Kennedy Winston, Earnest Shelton and Chuck Davis combined to score the next 22 Crimson Tide points to lead UA to a 76-54 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Coleman Coliseum. Alabama outscored the Islanders 24-4 over the final 9:07 of the contest, improving to 10-1 on the season. TAMU-CC fell to 7-2.
“I knew we had to make something happen,” Winston said. “We found a breakdown in their zone the last seven or eight minutes and that was the difference in the game.”
Although the Tide led for most of the game, Corpus Christi would rally to always stay within striking distance. Alabama held a 10 point lead in the first half that A&M-CC cut to three just 3:35 before the half. Alabama took a 16 point lead less than three minutes into the second half before the Islanders rallied to within two points before the Tide’s final 24-4 run to end the game.
Alabama took advantage of Corpus Christi in the paint, outscoring the Islanders 26-16. The Tide also won the rebounding battle 45-29, including a 15-5 edge on the offensive glass.
Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried credited his team’s defense with the late rally.
“I thought our defense in the last five or six minutes of the game was really good,” Gottfried said. “Our team, on defense, is getting there. We aren’t there yet; we just need to sustain what we are doing like we did those last few minutes.”
Winston led the way for the Tide with a double-double of 24 points and a career-best 12 rebounds. Shelton, who became the 36th player in UA history to score 1,000 career points, added 19 points. Davis scored 10.
Aaron White led the Islanders with 13 points. Thomas Bailey scored 11.
The Tide will break for the Christmas Holiday before returning to action on Wednesday, December 29. Alabama will travel to Madison, Wis. to face the Wisconsin Badgers. Tip-off for the contest is set for 6:30 P.M. The game will be televised by ESPN2.