Monday, December 23, 2002
» Box Score
By Chris Woodfin
Hours after the University of Alabama men’s basketball team (9-0) achieved the first number one ranking (AP) in school history, the Crimson Tide celebrated the feat by defeating Morehead State (4-4) 82-64 in a hard fought game.
Neither team was effective offensively in the first half, shooting 36 percent from the field respectively. However the Tide took a 37-30 lead into the locker room.
The Eagles started the second half on an 11-2 run to grab a two point lead from Alabama; however the Tide answered back in a big way, going on a 13-0 run to take the lead at 52-41.
Alabama went on to shoot 55 percent for the second half, including outscoring the Eagles 10-2 over the final three minutes of the game, while holding MSU to 36 percent for the second half.
Leading the Tide’s strong second half performance was Kenny Walker. The senior from Jacksonville, Florida scored 20 of his game high 24 points in the second half and for the game picked up a career high six blocked shots. Walker has now matched his career high for 20 point games in a season with two 20 point games this season. Walker scored 25 against Bowling Green.
Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried was pleased with Walker’s game effort and continued improvement as a player.
“He really played well,” Gottfried said. “He blocked shots too. He’s doing a great job; six blocked shots tonight. He’s just getting better and better and better and doing such a good job for us.”
Also contributing for Alabama were Mo Williams, Emmett Thomas, Terrance Meade and Erwin Dudley. Williams scored 21 points and tied his season high with seven assists. Thomas and Meade dropped in 12 and 13 points respectively, while Dudley joined Alabama’s 1,000 rebound club, grabbing a game high 12. Dudley now has 1,006 career rebounds.
The Eagles were led by Marquis Sykes and Ricky Minard. Both players led MSU scorers with 17 points.
Alabama returns to action next Monday night when the Tide travels to Salt Lake City, Utah to take on the University of Utah. The game is set to tip-off at 8 p.m. CST and can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.