Jermareo Davidson had double figures in both scoring and rebounding in every game in which he had played prior to Saturday. He led Alabama with 22 points, but had only eight rebounds as the Crimson Tide improved to 7-0. Davidson also had five blocked shots.
Alabama next plays at Notre Dame Thursday. The ESPN telecast will begin at 8 p.m. CST. Bama is ranked fourth in the nation by Scout.com, sixth by the Associated Press, and seventh in the Coaches Poll conducted by ESPN and USA Today. Tennessee State fell to 2-3.
The game saw Bama star Ron Steele return to action after having missed two games with tendonitis in his right knee. He played 35 minutes and had 12 points and five assists with only one turnover. Steele said, "I was really excited to get a chance to play. I'm in a little pain, but that was to be expected."
Steele's points all came on three-point shots. He took eight shots in the game, seven of them three-pointers. He said, "I was taking what the defense gave me," but added, "I'm not as explosive."
Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried said, "I'm always glad to win, but we can play a lot better. It seems like we get something fixed and something else goes bad."
Gottfried said he didn't plan to play Steele so much, but Tennessee State pulled back into contention in the second half.
One issue was rebounding. Tennessee State had 38 rebounds (19 offensive and 19 defensive) to 34 for Alabama. Davidson said, "We'll got to work on that in our next practice."
Richard Hendrix said "I felt I let my team down by getting in foul trouble and I wasn't out there to help in rebounding." Hendrix had four fouls, three of them offensive calls, and played only 17 minutes. He had eight points and five rebounds, and had four assists.
"We didn't do a very good job blocking out," Gottfried said of the rebounding problem. "It's a lot like fumbles in football. You've just got to get them."
Gottfried said the defense "wasn't bad, except we gave them too many second shots." The visitors shot only 34.3 per cent from the field (23-67), but had 17 second chance points.
Alabama, which pulled away late in the first half to take a 43-30 lead at intermission, has as much as a 24-point lead in the second half. But Tennessee State cut the lead to 12 with just under seven minutes to play.
Alabama shot 54.9 per cent from the field (28-51) and was good on 60 per cent of its three-point shots (9-15). Tennessee State hit only five of 23 treys (21.7 per cent).
The Alabama women's basketball team had an opportunity to impress some new fans playing the first game of a doubleheader with the Crimson Tide men, and the Bama women didn't disappoint, rolling to a 102-48 win over Savannah State.
Led by Navonda Moore's 25 points, the Crimson Tide had four women in double figures and all 11 Bama players scored in the rout.
Savannah State fell for the first time and is now 4-1.
In addition to Moore, Alabama got 15 points from Kate Mastin, 11 from Alyson Butler, and 10 from Dedrea Magee.
The Tide women will play next hosting McNeese State Monday.