for this game

Hendrix helps Alabama down N.C. State

Dec 21, 2006 - 4:56 AM RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Richard Hendrix continued to be double the pleasure for Alabama.

Hendrix scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide rolled to an 82-75 victory over North Carolina State.

It was the third straight victory for Alabama (10-1), which led throughout in winning its first true road game of the season. It lost the previous, absorbing a 99-85 setback at Notre Dame on December 7.

A member of the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team last season, Hendrix posted his fourth double-double of the season and fourth in his last seven games. Over that seven-game stretch, the 6-8 bruiser is averaging 16.9 points and 10.0 boards.

Hendrix had 12 points in the first half, including four during a 12-1 run that supplied the Crimson Tide with a 25-12 lead with 8:19 remaining before intermission.

"He makes the team difficult to play because they have a guy who can score," North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said about Hendrix. "His screen (on the) pick-and-roll really hurt us, and we gave him some uncontested shots."

Alabama shot 57 percent (17-of-30) in the first half en route to a 39-27 lead at the break. That advantage ballooned to 63-40 when Hendrix capped an 8-1 run on a jumper with 8:47 remaining. The sophomore finished with six points during the burst.

"We executed our game plan and ran our offense well," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "We moved the ball and got it where we wanted to. We knew they're not very deep inside and we took advantage of that."

However, the Wolfpack staged a comeback, going on a 13-2 run at one point and closing within 81-75 on a 3-pointer by freshman forward Brandon Costner with 21 seconds left.

"We didn't give up, we didn't quit," Lowe said. "The guys were making the right plays and hustling at the end, which we weren't doing at the beginning. Our offense hurt us more than anything. Sometimes that happens with a young club; guys try to make the big plays instead of the right ones."

"At the end of the game, we took our foot off the gas a little," Gottfried said. "I think we were concerned with not fouling and didn't guard them in some key situations. They took advantage of it and made some really tough shots."

The Tide, who finished 21-of-29 on free throws, converted 7-of-10 attempts in the closing minute to hold off the Wolfpack's rally. Mykal Riley scored 17 points and Ronald Steele added 14 for Alabama, which shot 46 percent (27-of-59) from the field and held a 43-32 edge on the boards.

Jermareo Davidson, who closed within 12 of 1,000 for his career, had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Tide.

Costner, who shot 5-of-8 on 3-pointers, scored a season-high 25 points and Ben McCauley had 24 for the Wolfpack (7-2), who shot 27 percent (7-of-26) from the arc.

Courtney Fells chipped in 14 for N.C. State, which absorbed it first loss in eight home games.

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    ALABAMA (10) 39 43 82
    NC STATE 27 48 75 FINAL

    Dec 20 8:34 PM

    ALABAMA (10) 39

    Dec 20 7:15 PM