Steele sets school-record with 18 assists

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama freshman Ronald Steele dished
out a record 18 assists, and Earnest Shelton returned the favor by
hitting shots and handing out compliments.

"Ron played phenomenal. He saw things that I didn't think he'd
see," said Shelton, who led the Crimson Tide with 24 points in a
114-77 rout of East Tennessee State on Wednesday.

"Eighteen assists says enough. Steele has stepped into the flow
of things and doesn't look like a freshman."

Alabama (5-1) racked up 19 3-pointers, with many being set up by
nifty passes from Steele, who had no turnovers. He allowed ETSU's
5-foot-9 Tim Smith to pour in 24 points, but the game was never in
doubt. Dillon Sneed had a game-high 30 for ETSU (2-3).

Steele broke the school single-game record of 16, and Alabama's
30 assists were also a school record.

Shelton was 6-of-11 from 3-point range, and the Crimson Tide
shot 19-of-41 from behind the arc -- breaking the school's
single-game record of 16 set in 1996 against Mercer.

Kennedy Winston added 21 points and 10 rebounds for Alabama,
with Chuck Davis adding 17 points, Justin Jonus 14 and Jean Felix

ETSU coach Murry Bartow called Steele an "unbelievable point

"That just shows how good he is," Bartow said. "That is why
he was a hot prospect last year."

The Tide, which led 59-28 at halftime, opened the second half on
a 17-7 run, led by back-to-back 3s by Winston and Shelton.

Alabama took its largest lead when Jean Felix hit a 3-pointer
with 11:09 left, making it 88-45.

The Tide, coming off a 79-76 loss to No. 14 Washington in the
Great Alaska Shootout, made nine 3-pointers in the first nine

Alabama leads the Southeastern Conference in scoring, averaging
85.2 points per game.