Tide Rolls In, Wave Goes Out

Dunks and defense ruled the evening as the Alabama basketball team rolled to an early lead and easily defeated visiting the Pepperdine Wave, 83-60, Tuesday night in Coleman Coliseum. Junior post man JaMychal Green scored 23 points to lead five Alabama players in double digits.

In addition to JaMychal Green continuing his hot play since his suspension earlier this year, Alabama had plenty of offensive firepower. Tony Mitchell had 17 points, Charvez Davis added 15, and Chris Hines posted a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds. Senario Hillman also had 10 points for the Tide. Green grabbed nine boards as the Tide out-rebounded Pepperdine  by a slim 41-40 margin.

Bama blocked  ten shots.

Alabama improved to 7-6, including a 7-0 home record. Pepperdine fell to 5-10 and was led by Keion Bell's 17 points.

Senior forward Hines, not normally known for scoring, notched the first four points of the evening for Bama. When the Tide (7-6) extended its early lead to 11-2 at the 15:36 mark, Wave Coach Tom Asbury took a time out. Bama's early defense was smothering Asbury's team, with blocks, double-teams, traps and long arms in passing lanes getting deflections.

The win was the 100th career head coaching victory for Alabama Coach Anthony Grant.

"It was a very good effort," Grant said. "From the beginning of the game, we set the tone defensively. JaMychal (Green) did a great job of getting the ball inside and being effective.

"It was good tonight to see some shots fall. I thought the ball movement was good.

"Winning is fun. I've never had fun losing. That's what it boils down to. When you can move the basketball, play unselfishly, and defend, you have fun."

Said Green: "We don't' worry about scoring  on our team. We may have a different leading scorer every night. We just want to get better, and we want to win.

"Once I started scoring, that opened up the perimeter. We were out there having fun. When we're having fun, things go our way.  We're just unselfish. We're going out there and competing, on both ends of  the floor."

Monstrous dunks by Mitchell and Hillman drew exclamations from the sparse crowd as Bama built a lead of 19-7 by the second media time out. That advantage swelled to 23 points at the 3:06 mark. The Tide hit the locker room with a 43-24 lead at intermission.

"They are obviously better than we are," Asbury said. "They are big and athletic, and have some pieces that are really good."

Asbury previously served as an assistant coach at Alabama.

"It was great to come back (to Tuscaloosa) and see some old friends," he said.  

Davis opened the second half with a trio of treys, and the senior guard went 5-10 behind the arc for the night. The Tide lead ballooned to 31 points with 13:38 to go.

Alabama shot 51.5 per cent from the floor while holding the visitors to 35.4 per cent.

"Our defensive intensity was very good," Grant said. "I think, overall, our team is making progress. I think we are heading in the direction we need to be in as we approach the SEC. There's still some areas we can improve on, like giving up offensive rebounds. Twenty is too many."

Hines scored his first career double-double. "It was aggravating as a basketball player when you have 10 rebounds and two points,"  he said. "I went out today with a double-double mindset, as always, and I just happened to get it."

GAME NOTES: Freshman guard Charles Hankerson missed the game due to minor injuries sustained in an automobile accident over the Christmas holiday. Hankerson, who averages 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds, is expected back when the Tide hosts Toledo Jan. 3. Tip time for that game is set for 7 p.m…. Waves coach Tom Asbury was Mark Gottfried's top assistant at Alabama from 2003-07 before returning for a second tour of duty at the Malibu, Calif., school. Asbury previously coached the Wave from 1988-94... Tuesday was the first meeting ever between the two programs. Bama is now a perfect 7-0 at home this year… Tuesday's announced crowd of 9,139  was probably closer to half that… Freshman point guard Trevor Releford dealt six assists, including an around-the-back pass to Mitchell that would have made former Tide great Ennis Whatley proud… The offensive and defensive displays by Green and Mitchell probably caught the eyes of the NBA scouts from the Phoenix Suns and New Jersey Nets on hand… Bama already had six of its seven dunks at halftime… Backup point guard Ben Eblen handed out a career-high four assists, all in the first half… Pepperdine became the sixth Tide opponent this season to be held under 30 points in the first half… Only four media outlets covered the game in person, as most of the full-time beat writers are in Orlando with the Tide football team… The Alabama women beat Southern Mississippi 88-78 Tuesday night in Hattiesburg to up their record to 11-2.

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