Alabama State 56

(0-3, 0-3 away)

(4) Alabama 82

(2-0, 1-0 home)

    8:00 PM ET, November 22, 2002

    Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    1 2 T
    ALST 26 3056
    #4ALA 42 4082

    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 line.

    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 presence.''

    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 game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2002-03 Season

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