Tide upends UNC-Greensboro

The third-ranked Alabama men's basketball team blew open a tight game to take a 20 point halftime lead and never looked back as the Crimson Tide rolled to an 89-61 victory over UNC-Greensboro.

Alabama has now won 22 straight home games, tying the school record.

"I liked the way we played tonight," Tide Head Coach Mark Gottfried said following the win. "It was a good team win. We played well together and took good shots."

The victory pushed Bama's record to 5-0 on the season. UNC-Greensboro fell to 3-2. Next up for the Tide is a 1:00 game this Saturday in Tuscaloosa's Coleman Coliseum versus St. Bonaventure.

The Spartans began the game shooting very well, and actually held the lead as late as 12 minutes into the game. But Bama's defensive keyed a big 25-4 run over the last 7:22 of the first half. "Our defense was very good," Gottfried said. "As we gain confidence in our defensive play, we can get into people's face and get them out of their offense."

Gottfried credited the Tide's defense for keying Alabama's first half run. "I thought at the start (of the game) we had our cool jacket on just a little bit," Gottfried said. "After about seven or eight minutes into the game I thought our defensive intensity really picked up."

Alabama began the second half with a 12-5 run to salt the game away.

The Tide dominated UNC-Greensboro in the paint. Alabama's inside game outscored the Spartans 38-10 and grabbed a season-high 46 rebounds. Keyed by the rebounding advantage, Bama held a 19-9 advantage in second-chance points.

"We wanted to go inside," Gottfried said. "We felt like we could control the paint."

Seniors Erwin Dudley and Kenny Walker led the way for the Tide scoring 18 and 17 respectively. The duo combined to hit 13 of 17 from the field. Also leading the way for Alabama was sophomore Mo Williams. The Jackson, Miss. native scored 13 points and dished out a season best seven assists.

"We just took good shots," Williams said. "We knew they were going to fall. We rarely have a bad shooting night at home."

Alabama also picked up 10 steals and forced 13 turnovers. Every eligible player for the Tide saw action, with every athlete but walk-on guard Jason Reese playing at least 11 minutes.

"We moved the ball better tonight," Gottfried said. "When it gets to the conference schedule, we may not be able to play 11 guys every night. But it's good to get that experience. We've got a number of different guys that can make shots."

James Maye's 13 points in 31 minutes of action paced UNC-Greensboro. No other Spartan player scored in double figures. "We played an excellent basketball team tonight," said Spartan Head Coach Fran McCaffery. "Alabama is as strong a rebounding team as I have seen. They just overpowered us. They were quicker and more physical."

UNC-Greensboro's only previous loss was to then No. 2 ranked Kansas. "I think Alabama has the ingredients to make it to the Final Four," McCaffery said. "You need a great point guard and a great big guy, and they have that. Their young kids are talented, and you need to be able to go up to nine deep. All the components are there."

Alabama hopes to set the school record for home winning streaks Saturday afternoon versus St. Bonaventure.

NOTE: Chris Woodfin of Alabama Media Relations contributed to this report.


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