Tide Basketball Rolls To 10th Win

Simply put, this is not last year's George Washington basketball team. The defending Atlantic 10 champions lost three starters off a 23-9 NCAA Tourney team, and it shows in their 4-6 record and their on-court play. In the first ever meeting between the two schools, Alabama led throughout and was never really challenged en route to a 93-57 win at Coleman Coliseum.

"I think a lot of different guys did a lot of things well. That was a good team win," said Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried. "We're getting a lot of good looks at the basket. Hopefully, that's something we can keep up.

"I think we're gaining some confidence. That's something that you get, when you win."

Richard Hendrix scored his 1000th career point at Alabama en route to 18 for the game, and Brandon Hollinger poured in five 3-pointers, all in the first half, to finish with 15 points.

"Our intensity was pretty good today. We came out ready to play at the tip," Hendrix said. "I didn't realize until a couple of days prior to the game that I was six points away (from 1,000). I‘ll take it anyway it comes."

Bama has now won six straight games. "I think our chemistry is coming together, and we're playing well as a team," said Gee. "We're sharing the ball well." Bama had 25assists against 10 turnovers. "Coach tells us to come out with intensity, from beginning to end," said Gee, "and that's what we try to do." Bama shot 48 per cent from the floor, and held the Colonials to 34 per cent.

The Tide led 50-29 at the break behind Hollinger's bombs, a pair of Alonzo Gee dunks and an early clinic in the paint by Hendrix, who scored 13 in the first 20 minutes. GW coach Karl Hobbs twice had to take time-outs to try and slow Tide runs, once three minutes in after a Gee slam and again with 5:09 to go in the half after the second of two 3-balls by Mkyal Riley. Riley finished with 15, and Gee led all scorers with 21 points.

Bama won the battle of the boards, 52-33, led by Gee's 13 and Hendrix's 11, both juniors posted double-doubles. "Alonzo right now, he is playing so hard," Gottfried said. "He's getting offensive rebounds. We're putting him on the opposing team's best player. His effort level is contagious. Its been something I'm really proud of."

Gottfried cleared his bench with two minutes left, and the Tide bench joined the crowd in cheering a rare basket by walk-on Greg Cage to close out the scoring. "That's ideal, that you want everybody to get in, and get some playing time," Hendrix said.

Rob Diggs led George Washington with 18 points. The Colonials fell to 4-6 with the loss.

Alabama upped its record to 10-3, and will host No. 21 Clemson on New Year's Day with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m. "They've got a really good record. We know that they're a great team," Hendrix said. "I think just by sharing the ball, and keeping everybody happy, you have a sense of confidence, and feel like you can play with anyone."

"They're a strong and physical team. It'll be a great match-up. If I've got to get on my hands and knees to get our crowd to pack this place out, I'll do it," Gottfried said.

FSN is set to televise the Clemson game.

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