It wasn’t pretty, and it was far from the Alabama Crimson Tide’s best performance on the hardwood this season, but they remained undefeated with a 59-46 victory over Charleston Southern to improve to 5-0 on the young season.
It was a sloppy game from the outset, with Alabama struggling mightily at times on the offensive end with sophomore Rodney Cooper sidelined with shoulder tendinitis.
Alabama shot just 40% from the floor and after taking a 36-27 lead at the half, the Tide failed to score for the first 4 and a half minutes of the second half, and only ended up scoring 23 points over the game’s final twenty minutes of action. For the game, Alabama shot only 40% from the floor, but they did make 8 three pointers on a 38% clip, which is a good sign moving forward.
Just like in the 2K Sports Classic final, it was the Trevor Releford show for the Crimson Tide, with the junior point guard leading the way with 22 points and 6 assists. After going 5/5 from three against Villanova, Releford was 5/8 from downtown against Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers played a 2-3 zone for the majority of the game, and that led to the Crimson Tide throwing up 21 three pointers.
It was a tough shooting night for sophomore Trevor Lacey, who was just 4/14 from the field and 1/7 from three for 9 points. He did contribute in other ways, however, with 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals. All 5 of his steals came in the first half.
Levi Randolph was the only player outside of Releford in double figures, with the sophomore scoring 10 points. The Swedish Hammer Carl Engstrom had what was probably his best game to date in Tuscaloosa, with an impressive overall stat line of 6 points, 8 rebounds (career high), 2 steals, and 2 blocks in 22 minutes of action. Fellow 7-footer Moussa Gueye played very well on the defensive end with 3 blocked shots.
Freshman Devonta Pollard played probably his best game of his young career as well with 9 points and 7 rebounds in 27 minutes.
Redshirt freshman Retin Obasohan saw the floor for 14 minutes tonight, and really impressed with his ability on the defensive end. He is one of the Tide’s very best perimeter defenders, and while he didn’t score he contributed 3 rebounds, an assist, and 2 blocked shots to the box score.
Defensively, Alabama was very good. They forced the Buccaneers into 17 turnovers, and held them to 33% shooting from the field. True to form, Charleston Southern jacked up 21 three pointers and connected on 8 of them. But after starting 6-of-9 from downtown, the Bucs shot just 1-of-12 from beyond the arc in the second half. Charleston Southern’s Saah Nimley scored 10 points, but was a miserable 3-of-16 from the floor.
Don’t let the Buccaneers’ 1-4 record fool you. This is a decent team and they were the preseason favorite to win the Big South Conference. They played 10th ranked Arizona tough two weeks ago.
Next up for the Crimson Tide is a Tuesday night matchup with Lamar at 7 central in Coleman Coliseum.
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