Tide Has Relatively Easy Basketball Win

The Oakland Grizzlies basketball team is highly regarded in part because of star guards Travis Bader and Reggie Hamilton. Alabama's defense shut down Bader. Oakland Coach Greg Kampe said he stopped Hamilton. No one stopped Alabama, and the Crimson Tide cruised to a surprisingly easy 74-57 win in Coleman Coliseum Monday night.

Alabama improved to 2-0 on the young season. It was Oakland's opening game. Last year the Michigan school was in the NCAA Tournament and is favored to win the Summit League again this year.

"This was one game," said Alabama Coach Anthony Grant. "The guys played well. I see good signs, but this team hasn't scratched the surface of how good it can be."

Oakland's Bader came into the game with a reputation as an outstanding three-point shooter, having made 94 last year. The Tide held him to 1-5 on treys, 2-9 from the floor, and only nine points before he fouled out.

The Grizzlies point guard Robinson had 16 points with 3:28 to play in the first half and Bama holding a five-point lead at 31-26. Twenty-three minutes and 28 seconds later, at the end of the game, Robinson was still at 16 points.

Oakland Coach Greg Kampe said, "I was very impressed (with Alabama). I was impressed with their length and athleticism. They were tremendous defensively. They were better offensively than we expected. We knew about Green and Mitchell (Bama stars JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell), and now the freshmen are coming out and hitting jumpers." br>
He also said that he had words with Hamilton because of what the coach called "an awful first half. Tht wasn't Oakland basketball."

He added that he was impressed that Alabama's freshmen had learned to play defense so quickly.

Grant said, "I thought our team really came out and played with great focus and great intensity and really took steps. We knew it would be a challenge defensively, and I think we answered the challenge. And we were efficient on offense."

Alabama, which had some trouble making layups in the early going, took the lead for good with about six minutes gone when Trevor Releford made a layup to make it Bama 15, Oakland 13.

By halftime, Alabama had a 41-30 lead. The Tide stretched it out to as many as a 23-point lead in the second half.

Alabama dominated in the paint, 38-20, and in second chance points, 16-4. The Tide also had the advantage on fast break points, including a couple of outstanding alley-oop dunks, one Levi Randolph to Mitchell, one from Mitchell to Rodney Cooper. Randolph had a slam dunk off an in-bounds play, Releford to Green to Randolph, that ignited a 10-point Crimson Tide run.

Alabama had a 39-27 lead in rebounds. Bama made 28-55 field goal attempts, 50.9 per cent, to Oakland's 20-50 for 40 per cent.

Green left the game midway through the second half with what Grant said appeared to be a hyperextended elbow. Before leaving, Green had scored 18 points. Releford had 14 points, but only one assist and four turnovers. Mitchell had 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Freshman Trevor Lacey had 10 points, including a long rainbow trey.

In addition to Hamilton's 16 points, Oakland got 11 from Drew Valentine and 10 from Laval Lucas-Perry.

Alabama next travels to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Tipoff Classic. The Tide opens play at 4 p.m. CST Thursday against Maryland.

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