Newcomers Key Basketball Win

The Alabama men's basketball team got its first win under new Coach Anthony Grant Tuesday night at Coleman Coliseum, and the Crimson Tide relied primarily on new players for the win over Jackson State.



Alabama improved to 1-1 as freshman Tony Mitchell and junior college transfer Charvez Davis came off the bench to spark the Crimson Tide to an 86-69 win over the Jackson State Tigers. Mitchell hit 10 of 14 field goal tries and finished with 23 points, while connected on five of seven three-point shots – the only shots he attempted from the field – and had 16 points.

Alabama continues its homestand hosting Providence at 7 p.m. Friday.

New Coach Anthony Grant said, "I thought our basketball team made progress. I challenged them that they needed to get better defensively." Grant said he was pleased with the energy and focus of the Tide.

Fueled by Mitchell and Davis, the Alabama bench contributed 47 points to Bama's winning effort. The Jackson State back-ups scored only 28 points.

Grant was also pleased that his team had 22 assists and only 10 turnovers. Michael Torrance, who played most of the game at point guard, had 13 points and eight assists and only two turnovers.

JaMychal Green also had 13 points for the Tide, but the junior inside player had only four rebounds Jackson State had a 42-32 rebounding advantage. Alabama, though, outscored the visitors in the paint by 42-18. Green had five of Alabama's eight blocked shots. Jackson State blocked just one Bama shot.

"It was a good team effort," Grant said. "We're going to continue to be a work in progress. I hope every time we step on the court we get better."

Grant was pleased with defensive intensity. The Tide held the Tigers to only 41.3 per cent field goal shooting while Bama was shooting 53.6 per cent from the field.

"This was a step in the right direction."

The biggest news for the men's team was off the court. Grant issued a written announcement prior to the Jackson State game that three-point ace shooter Anthony Brock had been suspended from the team indefinitely. The suspension removes the senior guard "from all baseball-related activities," Grant said. "While we are disappointed in the choices Anthony made to warrant this suspension, we remain committed to instilling the discipline and commitment to do what's right in the best interest of each of our players and the program as a whole."

There was an unusual double-header in Coleman Coliseum Tuesday night. Prior to the men's game, the Alabama women's team of Coach Wendell Hudson defeated the Jackson State women's team, 79-39. The Tide had a comfortable 37-20 halftime lead, then broke the game open in the second half.

Truly unusual was a team scoring 79 points and having only two players in double figures. Moreover, those two players – Tierney Jenkins and Dedrea Magee – had only 10 points each. Thirteen players saw action and all 13 scored. The Bama women improved to 2-1 on the season and next play Belmont in Nashville Saturday afternoon. The Tide women return to Tuscaloosa for a 6 p.m. game next Tuesday against Southeastern Louisiana.

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