Alabama sophomore forward Richard Hendrix said he wasn't thinking about points, but he was thinking about trying to score every time he touched the basketball. He didn't quite reach perfection, but Hendrix scored a career-high 34 points in the 34-point win.
Bama played the game without its two All-America candidates. Junior point guard Ron Steele, who has been hampered most of the season with tendonitis in his right knee, was held out because of a badly turned ankle suffered in the Tide's Thursday loss at Notre Dame. Senior center Jermareo Davidson, who has suffered through the double tragedy of his brother being critically wounded and his girlfriend dying in an automobile accident while driving Davidson to see his brother, was held out for academic reasons.
It is not certain if Steele will return when Alabama goes back into action Saturday in Mobile against Southern Miss. That game, part of a double header with South Alabama playing Ole Miss, is to tip off at 7:30 p.m. CST. Davidson is expected back by Saturday.
Final examinations are next week at The University.
Hendrix connected on 15 of 19 field goals. "I don't care who you're playing, that's impressive," said Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried. Hendrix also had 10 rebounds as Bama had a 38-22 advantage on the boards.
Alabama State Coach Lewis Jackson said that even without Steele and Davidson, "Alabama is a top five team and they have other options. Richard just dominated us. He was much stronger than anyone we had and it shows in the statistics. We wanted to make them take jump shots, but they were able to get the ball into him (Hendrix) and he was shooting point blank. We knew they had an advantage in the paint."
Alabama scored 54 points in the basket area.
Alabama improved to 8-1 while Alabama State fell to 2-5.
Bama scored the first nine points of the game and had a 51-30 halftime advantage. The Tide had a 30-point lead when the last starter was removed with over seven minutes to play.
Gottfried said, "It was good to get back on the winning track. I was really proud of the team. We had two very good players not playing. We weren't out there fooling around. We stuck to the game plan, getting it into Richard. And Richard was terrific."
Alabama hit 38 of 56 field goals, 67.9 per cent, including 60 per cent (9-15) on three-point shots. The Tide held Alabama State to 37.9 per cent from the field (22-58), including 26.1 per cent on treys (6-23).