Roundup: No. 10 Alabama holds N.C. State at bay; No. 4 Florida bites Stetson
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Richard Hendrix had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Ronald Steele added 14 points in his return to Alabama's lineup, helping the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide beat North Carolina State 82-75 on Wednesday night.
GAME REPORT: No. 10 Alabama 82, North Carolina State 75
Mykal Riley had 17 points and Jermerio Davidson and Alonzo Gee both added 10 for Alabama (10-1), which never trailed but nearly blew a 23-point second-half lead.
N.C. State (7-3) spent much of the second half trailing by double figures before beginning a furious, last-gasp rally led by Brandon Costner.
Costner hit three three-pointers in the final minute, and his 3 from the left corner made it 81-75 with 21 seconds remaining. But Alabama came up with stops on consecutive possessions, stripping Costner as he attempted another 3 and forcing Costner into another turnover, to avoid what would have been a catastrophic collapse.
Ronald Steele, a first-team preseason all-America, missed two games and played only 4 minutes of a third while battling a sprained right ankle and tendinitis in his left knee. His status for this game was in question until shortly before tipoff.
He seemed a step slow and wasn't much of a threat to drive the lane, but there wasn't much wrong with his touch from long range. Most of his points came on three-pointers as he finished 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Costner had 25 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range, while Ben McCauley added 24 points and Courtney Fells had 14 for N.C. State, which didn't have the size underneath to match up with the 265-pound Hendrix or the 6-foot-10 Davidson.
Hendrix had a near-perfect shooting night, making nine of his 13 shots from the field and hitting five of six free throws. His presence underneath was a big reason why N.C. State was outrebounded for the fourth time in five games.
Depth was again a problem for the Wolfpack, who played fewer than eight players for the sixth straight game. Point guard Engin Atsur sat out his fifth straight game with an injured hamstring.
No. 4 Floirda chomps on Stetson
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Joakim Noah made up for the absence of Al Horford, scoring 16 points and leading No. 4 Florida to an 88-67 victory over Stetson on Wednesday night.