Gee Leads Bama Romp

As the Alabama men's basketball team prepared for a brief Christmas break, the Crimson Tide showed it was in a giving mood Saturday afternoon. Bama gave Coppin State a 50-point thumping, and one reason for Crimson Tide success was the giving of the basketball.

Alabama got a career high 26 points from Alonzo Gee and the Crimon Tide blasted Coppin State by a 99-49 margin at Coleman Coliseum Saturday.

"It was a good game for us right before Christmas," Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried said. "The thing I liked most was our passing. It seemed we always made the extra pass. It was good to see them share the ball."

Bama had 23 assists in the game, nine of them by point guard Ron Steele.

Gottfried didn't have a hard time putting his finger on the reason for the Tide's runaway victory to put 10th-ranked Bama at 11-1 on the season.

"When you shoot the ball well, it seems like everything works for you," Gottfried said. "We shot it well. I liked the way we passed. We always made the extra pass. Of course, you still have to make the shot and we shot it well from the perimeter."

Alabama scored on 15 consecutive possessions in the first half. One reason for that was the shooting of Gee, who made 11 consecutive field goals, one short of the Alabama record. For the game, Gee made 12 of 14 shots, including both of his two-point shots.

Gee said making 11 consecutive field goal attempts "feels good, but I wish I could have made that 12th won."

Gee's final basket of the day was a crowd-pleasing dunk out of a 360-degree spin.

Jermareo Davidson, who has suffered personal tragedies this year, including the death of his brother earlier in the week, returned to the team Friday night and played Saturday. "Jermareo wanted to play," Gottfried said. "He told me to take him out if I thought he was hurting the team. He didn't score a lot of points, but I thought he played well blocking shots and rebounding." Davidson had five of Bama's nine blocked shots.

The Tide shot a blistering 70 per cent from the field in opening up a 55-30 lead the first half and finished with 60.9 per cent field goal shooting (39 of 64). Alabama hit 11 of 22 three-point shots and was 10-13 (75.9 per cent) on free throws. The Tide held Coppin State to 20 of 67 (29.9 per cent) on field goals, including 6-26 (23.1 per cent) three-pointers. The visiting Eagles scored only 19 second half points.

Richard Hendrix had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Tide, while Mykal Riley had 13 points. Demetrius Jemison came off the bench to get 10 points and nine rebounds. Alabama out-rebounded Coppin State by 52-24.

Coppin State, which fell to 2-9, was led by Tywain McKee with 12 points, all in the first half, and back-up Michael Norwood with 11.

After a holiday break, Alabama returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday, December 29, hosting Lipscomb.

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