Chuck Davis said his family had joined him from Selma for the day…a day in which he became the 18th Alabama senior out of 18 to earn his degree under Mark Gottfried. "It was a great day," the All-America candidate from Selma said. "I walked across the stage in the morning [receiving his degree], and then had a pretty good night."
Indeed, Davis did have a pretty good night. He led all scorers with 22 points, pulled down seven rebounds, blocked six shots, and had two steals and an assist.
But Davis had to share a little of the spotlight. Freshman Alonzo Gee had 19 points, five rebounds, two steals, and two assists. Jermareo Davidson had 12 points and eight rebounds. Ronald Steele spent much of the night at wing guard and had 11 points, including 9-10 free throws. Freshman Richard Hendrix had seven points and eight rebounds. And freshman Brandon Hollinger had 20 minutes at point guard with no turnovers.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Crimson Tide. Bama is now 5-3 on the season.
Although the 27-point win over Georgia State could fairly be called a rout, no one was suggesting it was a great performance. Gottfried said, "Anytime you win it's good. We're making progress. We're learning and we're getting better. But we still have to improve."
Bama was much bigger inside, as evidenced by the Tide's 40 points in the paint, including 26 second chance points. Bama had 10 blocked shots and Georgia State players frequently had to alter shots in order to avoid blocks.
Earlier in the month Georgia State lost by 72-61 to Georgia and by 73-46 to Kentucky.
There were a few nervous moments as tipoff time approached Saturday because Georgia State was late leaving Georgia. The Panthers arrived at Coleman Coliseum less than an hour before the game was to start. After Georgia State hit eight of its nine three-point shots in the first half, Coach Michael Perry suggested he might start showing up late every night.
Bama did hold the Panthers to only one-of-nine on three-pointers in the second half, but 9-18 was still pretty good. On all free throws Georgia State hit just 35.1 per cent and the Panthers were good on 9-12 free throws for 75 per cent. Although Bama out-rebounded Georgia State by 43-27, the Tide took just two more field goal attempts. Bama hit 28-59 for 47.5 per cent, including 6-15 on treys for 40 per cent. Bama hit 23 of 27 free thows (85.2 per cent), which was considerably above Bama's efforts for the season.
"I think we can be a good foul shooting team," Gottfried said.
Things will likely be tougher Thursday when Bama hosts North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Tipoff will be at 8 p.m. CST with television coverage by Fox South. Gottfried said, "Playing them is like getting into the dentist's chair."
With Saturday's 22-point effort, Davis needs just six points to reach the 1,000-point plateau in his Crimson Tide career.
Senior forward Evan Brock was held out of Saturday's game with an injured Achilles tendon.