TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)—Alabama’s Jermareo Davidson reached 1,000 career points during the eighth-ranked Crimson Tide’s 80-58 victory Friday night against Lipscomb.
Davidson’s 1,000th point came on a free throw, one of his 16 points. Alabama’s Mykal Riley led all scorers with 21, and teammate Richard Hendrix added 18 points and 11 rebounds.
After leading by just three points at halftime, Alabama (12-1) increased its lead to 10 with 8:52 to go in the second half. Lipscomb (8-5) whittled the lead to four points at 54-50 on a layup by Eddie Ard, but Alabama went on a 26-5 run to close out the game.
It was only the second game Lipscomb—coached by Tuscaloosa native Scott Sanderson, son of former Tide head coach Wimp Sanderson—has played against a ranked opponent. Last year, the Bisons lost 67-49 to 10th-ranked Kentucky.
“They are pretty good,” Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said of Lipscomb. “I think this is going to be a game that we are going to look back on in March where we see a team that is going to help your RPI. I really do.”
The Bisons’ high scorers were Brian Fisk with 16 points and Ard with 15.
Lipscomb built an eight-point lead in the first half when Jason Hopkins scored on a layup with 14:22 to go. Then Alabama outscored Lipscomb 12-2 to take an 18-16 lead on a 3-pointer by Justin Tubbs with 8:39 remaining. Lipscomb’s Michael Teller hit a 3-pointer to tie the game 26-26 with 3:41 left in the first half, but the Tide pulled ahead and led 33-30 at the break.
After a lackluster first-half performance, Gottfried had plenty to say.
“He didn’t breathe at all,” Hendrix said. “That was the loudest he’s been at the halftime since I’ve been here. Obviously, his speech worked since we played with a lot more intensity in the second half.”
Davidson said the secret to the Tide’s improvement in the second half was “a little more ball movement, quicker shots and just having a little poise.”
Alabama faces a tough upcoming schedule with games against Oklahoma, Arkansas and LSU.
“I love it,” gushed Gottfried. “That’s what you play for.”
Alabama’s Verice Cloyd was not at Friday’s game. Gottfried said Cloy is disappointed by a lack of playing time and is considering a transfer.