Bama Beats Quincy For Ninth Win
Alabama junior Senario Hillman, the aforementioned number 21, scored 11 of the first 13 points in the second half while Quincy was scoreless, and personally forced the Hawks to take a pair of timeouts in a 45-second span. Hillman added to his already-impressive highlight reel with a pair of soaring dunks, one of the 360 variety.
"I knew I had to slow down, and let the game come to me; just play," said Hillman, who finished with 17 points to lead all scorers. "I listened to (Alonzo) Gee. He told me to slow down, and start playing. First half, my energy was high, but I tried to rush everything." Hillman scored 13 of his 17 in the final 20 minutes.
"(Hillman) brought a lot of intensity, with his effort and his play," Gee said. "He just got us going in the second half."
Gee scored 13 points and grabbed seven boards. Justin Knox chipped in 10 with five boards.
Bama Coach Mark Gottfried said Hillman "did a very good job at both ends of the floor. He gave us a real good lift, and played extremely well during that period. We had five guys in double figures. I don't want us to rely on one or two guys.
"I liked our second-half effort, and our four-guard lineup helped us. From five minutes to go in the first half until the end of the game, our intensity level was really good, and we were able to press them more."
The Tide defense forced a season high 22 turnovers and had a season high 13 steals.
Hawks Coach Marty Bell said he warned his team about the start of the second half. "I told our guys at halftime to be ready for the second half, because they're going to come out like gang-busters," he said. "I didn't think we accepted that challenge very well.
"I thought that (stretch) was entirely the game. I thought we competed as well as anybody, coming into this environment against an SEC opponent as a Division II program."
Quincy actually led the Tide 20-15 on a Courtney Belger driving hoop with 7:47 to go in the first half, but the Tide outscored the visitors 20-12 fueled by two straight dunks by freshman JaMychal Green off feeds from Hillman. Ronald Steele canned a trio of triples to aid the Tide cause in the first 20 minutes. Steele scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half.
Green, who has struggled all season with foul trouble, did not pick up his first personal until 38 seconds remained before intermission. The freshman scored 13 points and snagged seven boards to go with two blocks.
Mookie Pierre and Billy Baptist led the Hawks with 14 points each..
Alabama will host ACC foe Georgia Tech Saturday at 2 p.m. CST. FSN will televise the contest.
"Georgia Tech's very good, very athletic and very big," Gottfried said. "Our guys are ready for this part of the schedule."
Earlier in the day, first-year Coach Wendell Hudson's Tide women's team won the championship game of the inaugural Crimson Tide Holiday Classic. The Tide upped its record to 11-3 with an 81-75 win over Ball State. Four Tide players scored in double-digits, led by sophomore forward Tierney Jenkins with a season high 23 points.
"We played well. I thought in the first half we played probably as well as we can play," said Hudson. "Defensively, we really got after Ball State and did a great job. Then we shot the ball really well. We put together a complete half.
"We didn't put together a complete half in the second half, but the good thing about it is this team tough. Ball State came back and cut the lead to one, the team never faltered and kept making plays to push the lead back out. I'm proud of the way this team was able to play."
Tierney Jenkins had game highs with 23 points and 10 boards for the double-double to lead the Tide, which travels to Hammond, La to face Southeastern Louisiana Saturday.
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