Alabama wins 20th straight home game


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama appears to have taken care of its biggest weakness from last year: 3-point shooting.

Mo Williams scored 20 points and Terrance Meade added 17 as the
(No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) Crimson Tide showed off its improved shooting touch
in an 82-56 victory over Alabama State Friday night.

Alabama (2-0), with its highest ranking in 25 years, led by 36
points late but played mostly reserves in the second half of their
20th straight home win.

Alabama was last in the SEC in 3-point shooting last season, but
it went 10-of-20 Friday night, with Meade and Williams hitting
three apiece.

"I think we had some good shooters on the floor,'' coach Mark
Gottfried said. "I thought last year was somewhat of an Achilles'
Heel, especially on the road. We've got a number of guys that can
make shots from behind the 3-point line.''

Keith Gamble scored 13 points to lead the Hornets (0-3).

Erwin Dudley had 12 points and eight rebounds as 10 players
scored for the Tide. Kenny Walker added eight points and seven
rebounds in 22 minutes for Alabama, which outrebounded Alabama
State 38-29

Williams, who scored 25 in the opener against Oklahoma, also had
five assists.

The Tide has won 35 of its 36 home openers and hasn't lost at
Coleman Coliseum since late in the 2001 season. Alabama has the
third-longest home winning streak in school history and put this
one away in the first half.

"We've got to understand, and we talk about this, every team
can beat you,'' Gottfried said. "The term I use is, `Respect
everyone but fear no one.' It's a sign of a mature team that comes
out and takes care of business.''

Alabama shot 49 percent from the floor, compared with Alabama
State's 35 percent, and the Tide's starters were 19-of-22 from the

Alabama scored 21 points off 15 Alabama State turnovers, while
giving up only four points on its 13 turnovers.

"Alabama has an outstanding basketball team,'' Hornets coach
Rob Spivery said. "They're very physical. They have good
playmaking ability, and with Walker and Dudley, they have an inside

Alabama scored 15 straight points to pull away midway through
the first half, building a 23-point lead, at 40-17, with four
minutes left. Williams had two 3-pointers and eight points during a
30-9 spurt to put the Hornets away.

"They were really playing off their adrenaline,'' Williams
said. "They kind of calmed down. You've got to pace yourself.''

Alabama's 2002 SEC championship banner was unfurled before the