Releford's 29 leads Alabama past Texas Tech, 76-65
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)
Releford made 5 of 7 3-pointers for the Crimson Tide (1-1) after being held to 12 points in the opening loss to Oklahoma.
Alabama opened up a 12-point halftime lead and Texas Tech (2-1) couldn't pull closer than eight points in the second half.
Retin Obasohan added 15 points, five steals and four assists for Alabama and Levi Randolph scored 10. Releford was 11-of-14 shooting.
Jordan Tolbert and Robert Turner led Texas Tech with 14 points apiece. Jaye Crockett added 12 points while he and Tolbert each grabbed seven rebounds.
First-year Red Raiders coach Tubby Smith had stints in the Southeastern Conference with Georgia and Kentucky, which he led to the 1998 national title.
His team couldn't overcome Releford or Alabama's hot shooting. The Tide went 28 of 41 from the floor (54.9 percent) and never trailed by more than two points.
Releford even scored on a layup after bouncing his inbounds pass from behind the basket off a Texas Tech player in the second half.
He scored 11 consecutive points during a 1-minute, 40-second stretch early in the game, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring on a fast-break layup. He drilled a contested 3 from the top of the key and hit two free throws in the final 90 seconds of the opening half.
Alabama made 6 of 9 3-pointers in the first half and didn't make one in five second-half attempts.
Texas Tech cut the margin to eight points in the opening minute after halftime and then cut the score to 48-39 on a 3-pointer by Jamal Williams with 13:07 left. Then Randolph hit a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions to start an 8-0 run.
He and Obasohan both were perfect on five trips to the free throw line, where Alabama was 14 of 17. Texas Tech had only eight attempts from the line, making four, after Alabama sent the Sooners to the line 25 times.
The Tide closed the first half on a 20-8 run to take a 40-28 lead, capping it with Rodney Cooper's fast-break dunk with 25 seconds left.
Before that, it was mostly Releford's show. He got into foul trouble against Oklahoma and only played 22 minutes.