Releford Has 29 In Bama Victory

Trevor Releford dazzled with outside shooting and spectacular drives and an Alabama zone defense throttled Texas Tech as the Crimson Tide opened its home season in Coleman Coliseum Thursday night with a 76-64 win over the Red Raiders.

Alabama evened its record at 1-1 and Texas Tech suffered its first loss in three games.

Releford had 29 points, 19 of them in the first half, to lead the Crimson Tide. Retin Obasohan had 15 points and Levi Randolph came off the bench to score 10 points.

Texas Tech was led by Jordan Tolbert and Robert Turner with 14 points each and Jaye Crockett with 12.

Alabama had a fine shooting night, hitting 28-51 field goals for 54.9 per cent. The Tide defense held Texas Tech to 28-59 for 47.5 per cent. Bama was good on 6-14 three-pointers for 42.9 per cent. Texas Tech made 20 per cent on treys, 4-20. The Tide had a big night at the free throw line making 14-17 for 82.4 per cent, while the visitors made 4-8.

Alabama had a 32-26 advantage in rebounds with Rodney Cooper getting seven to lead Bama. Freshman Jimmie Taylor scored only four points, but had six rebounds, four blocked shots and a steal. Obasohan had an overall good night with four assists, a blocked shot, and five steals.

Alabama returns to action Monday in Coleman Coliseum hosting crosstown Stillman in the first round of the NIT Season Tipoff. The game begins at 7 p.m. CST. On Tuesday Bama will play the winner of Georgia State and McNeese State. The semifinals and finals are in Madison Square Garden in New York Nov. 27 and 29.

After Alabama had a nice finish to the first half to take a 40-28 lead at intermission, it was pretty much a matter of just aking care of business in the second half.

With just over 11 minutes to play a nice short hook by Nick Jacobs gave the Tide a 15-point lead at 56-41. Althought Texas Tech cut it to 11 a few minutes later, the Tide got it out to 18 points with under five minutes to play on a nice Rodney Cooper putback. It was 70-52.

The Raiders cut it to 13 at 72-59, but Releford put it back to 15 with a driving layup for his 28th and 29th points.

Releford had an early hot hand that staked Bama to a 13-6 lead. In a matter of a minute and 40 seconds Releford hit a three-point shot off an inbounds pass, scored on a runout, and hit two more three-pointers for 11 points. He would close out he half with his fourth and fifth three-point shots and a pair of free throws for 19 first half points.

Texas Tech, working primarily inside, fourth back to take a 16-15 lead and the Red Raiders also led at 20-18 before Bama started a 15-5 run that ended with a Releford three-pointer and made it 33-25.

Releford's fifth three of the half and a nice play – Jimmie Taylor a steal, then out to Rodney Cooper for a dunk – were highlights as the Tide closed out the half with a 7-3 run.

Releford had made 5-6 on three-point shots and Levi Randolph had one as the Tide shots 66.7 per cent (6-9) on first half treys.

TIDE NOTES: Freshman center Jimmie Taylor got his first start for the Crimson Tide. He was joined in the starting lineup by guards Trevor Releford, Retin Obasohan, and Rodney Cooper; and forward Nick Jacobs.

The first points of Taylor's career came on an early second half dunk.

Two former Alabama head coaches were in attendance. C.M. Newton lives in Tuscaloosa and is a regular. David Hobbs is a pro scout, one of four who were on hand for the game. Hobbs was an assistant coach at Kentucky under Texas Tech Coach Tubby Smith.

Texas Tech guard Luke Adams spent part of last summer playing for the USA Deaf National Team, competing at the 72nd Deaf Olympics in Sofia, Bulgaria. The United States team won the bonze medal.

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