TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Justin Coleman had 14 points to lead five players in double figures as Alabama defeated Stillman College 69-49 on Friday night.
Alabama (7-3) scored the first eight points of the game and extended its advantage to 30-12 when Coleman canned a 3-pointer with 5:09 left. Stillman (4-3) scored nine of the next 13 points to pull to within 31-19.
The Crimson Tide led at the half 34-21.
Alabama pulled away steadily in the second half. The Crimson Tide had its largest lead, 63-39, when Levi Randolph scored on a lay-up with 5:57 to go.
Randolph, Riley Norris and Shannon Hale each scored 13 points for the Crimson Tide. Jimmie Taylor contributed 12 points and nine rebounds.
Alabama starters Rodney Cooper and Ricky Tarrant did not play in the game.
”We elected to hold out Ricky Tarrant and Rodney Cooper just from a rest standpoint,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. ”Just to get them physically off their legs. I thought that was the best thing for our team and nothing more to that.
”We got a chance to play a lot of different people today in different positions, in different roles, different line-ups so that was a great opportunity today.”
Alabama bounced back from a 53-52 loss at No.11 Wichita State on Tuesday.
Maurice Crenshaw had 13 points for Stillman, an NCAA Division II program located in Tuscaloosa. Rodnerius Lewis scored 10 points and Jamon Jackson-Wilson had seven rebounds for the Tigers.
”The bottom line (is) that their size killed us today,” Stillman coach Donte Jackson said. ”(They) made us adjust shots. (For) being a Division II program, we’re not used to playing against that size. Unfortunately we got off to a bad start and we turned the ball over. You have to give them credit. They played solid with a few of their guys out today.”
Despite being outmatched Jackson thought his team benefited from playing Alabama.
”I think it’s great,” he said. ”To come over and play on the big stage is a great opportunity and a great experience for us.”
Crimson Tide: In its last outing Alabama held No.11 Wichita State to 53 points, 25 below its season average. . Entering the game Randolph was Alabama’s team leader in scoring, steals and assists. . the Stillman game begins a five-game home stand for the Crimson Tide, the longest of the season. … Norris made his first career start and his 13 points and seven rebounds both were career highs. . Coleman’s 14 points also were a career-best. . Alabama started three freshman against Stillman. . Sophomore walk-on John Gibson played in his first game for Alabama.
Tigers: This is an exhibition game for Stillman but counts as a regular season game for Alabama. . Coming into the contest Stillman had four players averaging in double-figures. . Coach Donte Jackson is in his first season at Stillman.
CLOSE TO HOME
Stillman College, an historically black NCAA Division II college of about 1,000 students, is located about three miles west of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Crimson Tide: Host Appalachian State Sunday.
Tigers: At Benedict College Sat. Jan. 3.