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Winston's 24 help Tide wash out Catamounts

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama's freshman point guard Ronald
Steele passed the first test Friday night when he became only the
third freshman to start a season opener for the Crimson Tide.

Steele played 28 minutes, scored 3 points and had a team-high 7
assists. The 18th-ranked Crimson Tide had only seven turnovers
compared to 15 for the Catamounts that led to 22 points in
Alabama's 97-66 win.

Steele was one of two freshmen guards seeing considerable action
for Alabama. Albert Weber scored 8 points in 11 minutes.

Coach Mark Gottfried was pleased with the play of the young
guards.

"I thought they did a good job," Gottfried said. "They've got
a lot to learn and at times they looked like freshmen. But they
showed that they have potential, too. So again I think overall the
guard play was pretty good."

Kennedy Winston scored 24 points to lead Alabama.

After the first five minutes, Alabama (1-0) was never seriously
threatened by the Catamounts and led 49-28 at halftime. Alabama's
biggest lead was by 39 points, 85-47 with 8:42 left.

Chuck Davis and Earnest Shelton had 16 points apiece for the
Crimson Tide, and Jean Felix had 11. Felix, a junior college
transfer playing in his first game, brought the crowd to its feet
with a thunderous dunk midway through the first half.

Western Carolina (0-4) was led by David Berghoefer, who scored
23 points. Rans Brempong had 11 points, and Corey Muirhead added
10.

Western Carolina kept up with the Crimson Tide early and was
locked in a 9-9 tie five minutes in. Alabama then went on an 8-0
run and steadily built its lead from there.