Grant wins 100th as Alabama thumps Towson, 82-54
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper each scored 15 points to lead Alabama to an 82-54 victory over Towson in the opening round of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic Friday night.
Shannon Hale had 14 points and Riley Norris 10 points as coach Anthony Grant notched his 100th win at Alabama.
Alabama grabbed a nine-point lead at the half and extended it to 31 in the second half on a field goal and free throw by Hale with 3:55 remaining in the game as the Crimson Tide easily won its season opener.
Trailing by one, Alabama went on an 18-7 run to jump out to a 24-14 lead on a putback by Randolph at the 7:26 mark. Towson answered by scoring 11 of the next 13 points to cut the margin to 26-25 on a three-point shot by Four McGlynn with 4:25 left.
”We had a chance to open it up but they made six threes in the first half. That was the difference,” Grant said. ”We needed to do a better job of taking the three-point line away from them.
”The key (to breaking the game open in the second half) was the style of play. Our defense set the tone. We were able to create offense from our defense. That was the difference.”
Asked if Alabama did anything that surprised them, Towson coach Pat Skerry said, ”No, but we certainly looked it, especially in the second half.”
Towson was led by McGlynn with 15 points, Alex Gavrilovic with 14 points. John Davis contributed a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Alabama: After sitting out last year Alabama transfer Ricky Tarrant, who averaged 15.7 points a game while playing for Tulane two years ago, had five points in his Crimson Tide debut. .Alabama played without inside players Michael Kessens, who is recovering from a hernia, and Jeff Garrett who recently had four wisdom teeth pulled
Towson: The Tigers returned two starters from a team that finished 25-11 last year, the most successful season in school history. .McGlynn scored 12 points in the first half, making four of six from beyond the arch to keep the Tigers within range in the early going.
Anthony Grant is 100-71 as he begins his sixth season at Alabama and 176-96 overall in eight years as a head coach. .Grant is the seventh coach in the 101-year history of Alabama basketball to win 100 games at the school.
KEEPING THEM HOME
Alabama signed three top in-state basketball prospects during the Nov. early signing period: 6-9 center Donta Hall, 6-5 forward Brandon Austin and 6-5 combo guard Dazon Ingram.
Alabama hosts Western Carolina Monday in the second round of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
Towson plays at Morgan State on Monday.