TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Chuck Davis might want to reconsider his distaste for playing against zone defenses.
Jermareo Davidson had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Davis had 14 points and 11 rebounds in No. 18 Alabama's 75-71 victory over Temple on Saturday night."I hate teams that play zone like that," Davis said. "You never get any easy baskets. You just have to make shots."That wasn't a problem for the Crimson Tide's two post players, who powered Alabama (8-1) to a 45-32 rebounding advantage and made up for an off night by high-scoring small forward Kennedy Winston.Earnest Shelton scored 22 points and the Tide hit 6-of-10 free throws in the final 62 seconds to overcome a rare 3-point barrage from Temple (3-4).But it was the inside domination that bugged Owls coach John Chaney."Our big guys let us down," Chaney said. "They outrebounded us just unbelievably. The officials allowed them to climb all over us. That was the difference in the game."The Owls, paced by Mark Tyndale's 22 points and seven rebounds, rallied from a 12-point deficit with seven 3s in the first 13 minutes of the second half.Mardy Collins stole a pass from Winston and hit a layup to make it 64-62 with 4:45 left. But Collins was called for a technical foul shortly thereafter for protesting a decision giving Alabama possession after the ball went out of bounds.Shelton made both free throws and reserve Justin Jonus hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 3:42 left, pushing Alabama's lead to 69-62.The Owls found another quick way to score three points to stay alive. Tyndale hit three free throws with 28 seconds left to make it 73-69 after he was fouled by Ronald Steele on a 3-point shot.But Davis and Davidson, who combined for 17 of Alabama's first 24 points, hit a free throw apiece for the Tide to seal the win.Shelton made 5-of-11 3-pointers and 5-of-6 free throws for Alabama but was the team's only consistent outside shooter.Winston had just five points -- 13 below his average -- on 2-of-8 shooting with five turnovers.Temple, which faces Wake Forest on Monday night, had post players Wayne Marshall and Keith Butler in foul trouble for most of the second half.Collins had 17 points for the Owls and Dustin Salisbery had 16. They combined with Tyndale to hit nine of Temple's season-high 12 3-pointers -- seven above the Owls' average.Salisbery was far more impressed with Alabama's offense -- which came in producing 89 points per game -- than its defense."I don't think they played good defense," he said. "They like to score and they try to outscore you. I don't think they work on their defense."Temple erased an 11-point deficit with a 15-3 run in the first half, taking a lead briefly on Salisbery's 3-pointer before Alabama pulled out to a 41-32 halftime lead."One thing about them that I like and that I respect about their program: They play good, tough teams," Tide coach Mark Gottfried said. "So they're in this situation every night. They're not going to fold the tent on you. They gave us a little bit of trouble, but our guys responded and got the job done."