TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Rodney Cooper had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead Alabama to a 75-47 victory over Lamar on Tuesday night.
The Crimson Tide (6-0) held its second straight opponent to fewer than 50 points and took control with a 25-7 run starting early in the second half.Lamar coach Pat Knight was ejected after getting called for two technicals protesting a non-call with 16:56 left and the Cardinals (1-6) facing a 38-29 deficit. Assistant coaches held him back from storming toward the officials.The outburst seemed to spark Alabama, not his own team. The Tide proceeded to go on the big run in a game that had been fairly competitive much of the way.The spurt included a Cooper alley-oop from Levi Randolph.The Tide played without ailing leading scorer Trevor Releford, who has a stomach virus, and guard Andrew Steele, who has a groin injury.Cooper had six offensive rebounds to help overcome and 0 for 7 performance from 3-point range. He had sat out the last game against Charleston Southern with shoulder tendinitis.Retin Obasohan added 13 points for Alabama while Levi Randolph and walk-on Dakota Slaughter each had 10 points.Stan Brown led Lamar with 14 points and nine rebounds while Rhon Mitchell scored 10.Lamar was held to 21-of-56 shooting (37.5 percent) and made just eight field goals in the second half.Alabama's defense also contributed 12 blocked shots -- three each by freshman Devonta Pollard and Carl Engstrom -- and nine steals.Obasohan sparked Alabama early. He had scored seven points in the first five games before scoring eight in the first 14 minutes.It was the teams' first meeting since Lamar won in a first-round game in the 1983 NCAA tournament.The Tide has been flirting with a national ranking, leading the teams among "others receiving votes."