Tide Wins Big Over Short-Handed Toledo

Toledo was put on the Alabama men's basketball schedule to be the final tune-up before the start of Southeastern Conference play. When the Rockets suspended three of their seven scholarshipped players before the game, the tune-up was a serious beat down.

Alabama more than doubled the score on Toledo with an 83-41 win over the Rockets in Coleman Coliseum Monday night. Bama had a commanding halftime lead, 44-24, and allowed Toledo only 17 points in the second half.

The Crimson Tide of Coach Anthony Grant improved to 8-6 with all eight victories coming in Tuscaloosa, all six losses occurring in away games. Toledo, which started the game without two starters and with four scholarshipped players and four walk-ons, fell to 3-11.

Alabama begins SEC play Saturday when the Crimson Tide travels to Mississippi State. Tipoff will be at 3 p.m. CST. Bama returns to Tuscaloosa Wednesday, Jan. 12, hosting South Carolina, at 8 p.m. CST.

"I was pleased with the win," Grant said. He said Bama had improved in recent games in sharing the basketball and protecting the ball and that he had wanted to see a continuation. He said he thought Bama had improved during the non-conference portion of the schedule, adding that he had seen the team show maturity.

Tony Mitchell and Charvez Davis led Alabama with 21 points each. Mitchell was 9-12 from the field and Davis was 7-10, including 6-8 on three-point shots. JaMychal Green continued his strong post-suspension play with his fifth straight game in double figures, scoring 14 points. Green and Mitchell had eight rebounds each as Bama won the battle of the boards, 33-22.

There weren't many rebounds. Alabama shot 53.7 per cent (29-54), missing only 25 shots. Bama was 10-22 (45.5 per cent) on treys. Toledo shot only 38.9 per cent, making 14-36 shots. The visitors were good on only 4-17 three-pointers, 23.5 per cent. The Rockets were often unable to get a shot away, committing 25 turnovers as Bama had 13 steals -- four by Senario Hillman.

Hillman had five assists -- the same number as the entire Toledo team. Bama had 21 assists. Toledo did not have a steal in the game.

Alabama led from the first basket of the game with no ties or lead changes.

Alabama outscored the Rockets by 33-14 in the paint, by 36-13 off turnovers, and 15-0 on fast breaks.

Toledo's final basket in the game came with 4:55 to play. The Rockets were led by Jay Shunnar with 13 points and seven rebounds.

TIDE NOTES: Freshman point guard Trevor Releford did not start the game and was limited to only 13 minutes of playing time because he has been ill and unable to practice. Senario Hillman started at point guard and had five assists.

Sophomore guard Andrew Steele played for the first time since early last season. He was out most of last year with an ankle injury that required surgery and missed the first 13 games of this season with soreness in his knees. Steele played 15 minutes and had five points.

Two freshmen players were held out of the game for disciplinary reasons. Charles Hankerson, who was recently involved in an automobile accident, and Jason Carter, did not play, but "potentially" could return this weekend.

Alabama is now 3-0 all-time against Toledo.

The game against Toledo was Bama's third straight in Coleman Coliseum.

In his last three games, Charvez Davis is 16-24 -- 66.7 per cent -- on three-point shots.

Toledo played without its leading scorer, Malcolm Griffin, and third-leading scorer Reese Holiday -- both starters -- and substitute J.T. Thomas.

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