ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska-Anchorage coach Rusty Osborne
knew his inexperienced team would have trouble stopping all of
Alabama's offensive weapons. So, the Seawolves tested the Crimson
Tide's outside shooters.
That turned out to be the wrong move.
No. 19 Alabama made shots from all over the court and used a
16-0 run at the start of the game to rout Alaska-Anchorage 90-55 in
the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout on Wednesday night.
"Once we started knocking down shots, they had to pick their
poison," said Earnest Shelton, who finished with 18 points.
The outside shooting opened things up for Alabama's big men
underneath, and Jermareo Davidson finished with a career-high 17
points. He also grabbed 13 rebounds as he and Chuck Davis controlled the boards.
"I just wanted to run the floor, apply the things I learned in
practice," Davidson said.
Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said the game will be a great boost to the confidence of Davidson, a 6-foot-10 sophomore.
"He needed a game like this," Gottfried said. "He played big.
He used his size to his advantage."
Davidson scored 15 first-half points on 7-for-8 shooting from
the field, and Shelton also had 15 points.
The Crimson Tide (3-0) shot 62 percent from the field
(20-for-32), including 6-for-11 from 3-point range.
A basket by Ronald Steele with 12:01 remaining in the second
half gave the Crimson Tide its biggest lead, 69-29, and Alabama
closed it out with reserves.
Osborne said his inexperienced Division II Seawolves (1-2) met a
veteran Southeastern Conference power.
"They took care of business and we didn't compete quite as hard
as we needed to against that level of athlete," he said.
Osborne blamed Alabama's fast start on his players coming out
tentative and passing up opportunities to shoot.
"We're going to be a pretty good basketball team in January,
but we have a lot of growing pains to do," he said.
Mark Drake and Carl Arts led Alaska-Anchorage with eight points