TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alonzo Gee came within one field goal of
a school record, scored a career-high 26 points and even gave the
crowd something to roar about with a soaring 360-degree dunk in No.
10 Alabama's 99-49 victory over Coppin State on Saturday.
Crimson Tide center Jermareo Davidson gave quite a performance
himself -- just by showing up.
Davidson, who is mourning the death of his older brother on
Wednesday, started and had six points and seven rebounds in 20
minutes for Alabama (11-1). Davidson's girlfriend was killed last
month after the car they were riding in flipped over on a Georgia
Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said Davidson asked to play
Saturday despite the tragedies.
"He had a lot on his mind," Gottfried said. "He didn't make a
lot of points, but he played well."
Gee was 12-for-14 from the field, including 11 straight field
goals -- one shy of the record that was set by Buck Johnson against
Mississippi State in 1983.
"Dang!" Gee said after learning about his near-record. "It
feels good, but now I wish I could have made that 12th one."
Yamene Colemen had 10 rebounds, while Demetrius Jemison followed
with nine as the Crimson Tide finished with a 52-24 rebound
Tywain McKee led Coppin State (2-9) with 12 points.
Coppin State scored five straight points to get within three
points midway through the first half. Alabama broke the game open
with a 33-12 run and led 55-30 at halftime.
The Tide opened the second half on a 17-1 run to make the score
72-31. Alabama matched the final 50-point lead two other times.
"Our team played today with a lack of enthusiasm," Coppin
State coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell said. "Alabama had their way
with us. They shot the ball tremendously in the first half, and we
could never really get out of it.
"We played like a team ready to go home for holidays."
Alabama point guard Ronald Steele said he was playing at "70
percent" while battling tendinitis in the right knee and a
sprained left ankle. The preseason all-America had nine points and
Steele said it was good to have Davidson back in the lineup.
"We're behind him," Steele said. "There's nothing we can say,
but we're supporting him to help ease the pain."