Tide Romps Past Razorbacks

The Alabama men's basketball team of Coach Mark Gottfried, ranked seventh in the nation, scored the first 12 points of the game, opened up as much as a 35-point lead, and cruised to a 109-94 win over Arkansas in Coleman Coliseum Wednesday night. The game was not as close as the final score as Bama subsitutes got plenty of playing time in the late going.

Alabama is now 18-3 on the season and continues to lead the Southeastern Conference with a 6-1 league record. Bama has now won 16 consecutive games in Coleman Coliseum, going back to Arkansas' victory that was Bama's only home loss late last season.

Saturday Alabama will be at LSU for a 7 p.m. CST game. Bama held on for a 76-74 win over LSU in an earlier game in Tuscaloosa. The Tide's next game in Coleman Coliseum will be next Wednesday when the Tide hosts Ole Miss at 7 p.m. CST, a game that will be regionally telecast by Jefferson Pilot. Mississippi is just a hafl game behind Alabama in the SEC Western Division race.

When freshman Earnest Shelton made three free throws with 12 and a half minutes to play, he became the fifth Bama player of the night to reach double figures in scoring. And Shelton didn't stop. In just his second game back after undergoing knee surgery, Shelton connected on six-of-11 three-point shots, plus the three free throws when he was fouled attempting a three-pointer, and had a career-high 21 points. Rod Grizzard also scored 21 on six-of-10 shooting from the field and nine-of-14 free throws. Grizzard did not attempt a three-point shot. Terrance Meade rebounded from recent sub-par play with 15 points. Freshman point guard Mo Williams was able to handle the famous Arkansas pressure with ease, scoring 13 points, dishing out seven assists, and making a game-high three steals. Erwin Dudley had a double-double, as he often does, picking up 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Arkansas sharp-shooter Jannero Pargo had a game-high 33 points on spectacular shooting, but most of his production came after the issue had long been settled. He had 10 points in the first half when Alabama withstood an Arkansas run. The Razorbacks closed to within one point at 21-20 when the Hogs got to shoot (and made) four free throws, two of them the result of the first technical foul of the year on Gottfried. The Tide built the lead back up and had a 52-34 lead at intermission.

With nine minutes to play Bama was up by 35 points at 92-57. Alabama played all 11 available players and 10 of them scored.

Alabama connected on 35 of 67 field goals (52.2 per cent) and 13 of 29 three-point shots (44.8 per cent), while holding Arkansas to 31 of 67 field goals (46.3 per cent) and 11 of 30 three-pointers (36.7 per cent). Bama made 26 of 38 free throws (68.4 per cent) and Arkansas 21 of 29 foul shots (72.4 per cent) in a rugged game. Both teams had 39 rebounds.

Both teams played aggressive defense, but Arkansas had only 15 turnovers, Alabama only 13. The Tide scored 24 points off turnovers, Arkansas 21. Alabama scored 10 more points in the paint, 38-28, and one more second chance point, 14-13, and both teams had six points off fast breaks.

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