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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2007
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Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Alabama’s Richard Hendrix (35) goes to the hoop over LSU’s Tasmin Mitchell in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday night. Hendrix, who prepped at Athens High, scored 18 and the Tide won 71-61.

Balanced scoring paces UA
No. 14 Alabama has too many weapons for LSU

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com· 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA — One man could not overcome a team full of scorers on Tuesday. LSU rode center Glen Davis as far as it could, but in the end, four Alabama players finished in double digits in the Tide’s 71-61 win.

“One of the strengths with our team is that we’ve had some balanced scoring,” Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. “Different plays have stepped up on different nights, and I think that’s what’s going to make us a tough team to guard.”

Davis was a handful and then some. The 6-foot-9 295-pound LSU center had his way in the post for most of the evening, finishing with 24 points and 17 rebounds.

But that was all the No. 13 Tigers (11-4, 0-1 SEC) attack could really muster as Davis got help from Tasmin Mitchell with 19 points and little else. The next highest scoring Tiger was Garrett Temple with five points.

“It was our inability to do the other things around Glen and Tasmin that didn’t allow us to shoot the ball,” LSU coach John Brady said. “I need to give our team more. I’m disappointed I didn’t give our team what we needed.”

No. 14 Alabama (14-2, 1-1 SEC) was the exact opposite.

With a team that has had to morph and change all season with embattled stars Ronald Steele and Jermareo Davidson, the Tide used a balanced attack to consume LSU.

In almost a microcosm of the season, Alonzo Gee — who started out the year as the team’s hottest player — had 15 points at halftime.

Gee was a little hot and a little cold at times — the 6-7 small forward at one point missed four straight shots in the first half — but found his rhythm from behind the arc and in the open court later in the frame.

Gee had 11 points in the final 8:47 of the half, a stretch that put Alabama into the lead for good.

“In the first half, Alonzo was hot,” Richard Hendrix said. “He came out hitting shots from the outside. In the second half, he pounded the ball inside and was feeding the post players.”

And Hendrix was the hungry beneficiary.

The 6-foot-8 268 pound Athens graduate finished with a team-high 18 points, 13 of which coming in the second half. Davidson finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds and guard Mykal Riley had 12.

Steele, who is still nursing ankle and knee injuries, had eight points and played mainly on the perimeter.

Before the game, one of the major questions was whether Hendrix could establish his post game against Davis.

That was answered with 5:55 remaining when Hendrix jammed a ball over Davis. Gottfried referred to it as a “grown man” dunk.

“That stretch with Richard was huge in the game,” Gottfried said. “We kind of re-established ourselves inside.”

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