Texas Southern (1-3) At (8) Alabama (4-0)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coleman Coliseum (15,316) -- Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Television: Local. Home Record: Texas Southern 1-0, Alabama 1-0. Away Record: Texas Southern 0-3, Alabama 0-0. Neutral Record: Texas Southern 0-0, Alabama 3-0. Conference Record: Texas Southern 0-0, Alabama 0-0. Series Record: First- ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The eighth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide figure to be a major contender in the SEC this season, and the club will attempt to strengthen its non-league record against Texas Southern today. The Tigers, who are members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, enter this game with an 1-3 record. After losing three straight to open the season, all of which took place on the road, the Tigers came home to post a 66-62 decision over Huston-Tillotson on Wednesday. Needless to say, Alabama represents a major leap in competition level. Speaking of the Tide, they have won all four of their games thus far, three of which took place at the Paradise Jam. Alabama won the tournament championship on Monday by besting Atlantic 10 power Xavier in the title game, 63-56. Four of the next five game will be played at home for the Tide, including tonight's clash. This game marks the first-ever meeting between the Tide and the Tigers.
Texas Southern got a tremendous performance from Chris Moore in the victory over Huston-Tillotson last time out, as he tallied 22 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Nick Walker and Michael Drewy added 12 points apiece for the Tigers, who shot 47.8 percent from the floor while limiting their opponent to 35.2 percent efficiency. Texas Southern also earned a commanding 46-20 rebounding advantage, including a 16-7 edge on the offensive glass. All of the positives helped Texas Southern overcome its own carelessness, as the team committed 28 turnovers. Moore is a double-double threat every time he steps on the floor. He managed 12 points and 10 boards against Lamar in the season opener, and he posted 14 points to go along with eight rebounds in a recent loss to Baylor.
The key to Alabama's victory in the title game of the Paradise Jam was strong defense, as the Tide limited Xavier to 32.3 percent shooting from the floor, including a 7-of-30 effort from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Tide were able to hit 45.6 percent of their field goal attempts and post a 45-36 rebounding advantage as well. If not for a poor 7-of-15 showing from the foul line by 'Bama, the game would not have been as close. Alonzo Gee and Mykal Riley led the charge in the win with 13 points apiece, and Riley also pulled down 10 boards to go along with five assists. Jermareo Davidson managed 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Richard Hendrix also scored 10 points. Through four games, Gee is posting 15.5 ppg, while Davidson adds 14.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg, and 3.3 spg to the lineup. Ronald Steele is posting 12.8 ppg, and he has dished out 22 assists against nine turnovers. Rounding out the double-digit scorers is Hendrix with 12.3 ppg. Opponents are managing only 60.8 ppg against Alabama on 34.9 percent shooting from the field.
Expect Alabama to be well ahead by intermission, as Texas Southern stands no chance in this contest. Alabama is a well-balanced team that is built for an NCAA Tournament run.
Alabama 88, Texas Southern 56