CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) -- Jermareo Davidson's
return gave Alabama (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) the spark it needed to overcome Iowa.
Davidson had 15 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and four
assists after a one-game absence, and Alonzo Gee added 21 points
and six rebounds to lead the Crimson Tide (3-0) to a 72-60 victory
over the Hawkeyes (2-1) at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on
"I'm just trying to focus on what I need to do," said
Davidson, who had missed Friday's win over Middle Tennessee State
when he remained stateside to mourn his girlfriend, who died in a
car wreck last week. "It didn't really affect my game. It's just a
matter of getting back in the rhythm."
"It was really key having him back," Steele said of Davidson.
"We played with a lot more emotion. That was kind of the lift we
Davidson acknowledged he needed his team as much as they needed
him: "They lift my spirits up, got me going."
Alabama won by dominating in the paint.
Falling on his back at the top of the key, Davidson lobbed an
alley-oop to Hendrix early in the second half. On the next play
Davidson blocked a jumper by Cyrus Tate.
"(Davidson) gives this team a lot of confidence. And he played
great. He played with a lot of heart," coach Mark Gottfried said.
Gee made two consecutive steals for breakaway dunks in the
closing minutes of the first half.