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Gee helps No. 10 Alabama crush Coppin State

Dec 23, 2006 - 11:22 PM TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Alonzo Gee and Alabama wasted little time sending Coppin State packing.

Gee had a career-high 26 points and nine rebounds and Richard Hendrix added 15 and 10 as the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide rolled to a 99-49 triumph over the Eagles in the first matchup between the schools.

Gee connected on 12-of-14 shots and made both 3-point attempts. He is averaging 19.2 points in his last five games.

"My point guard (Ronald Steele) told me to run the floor," Gee said. "And that's what I did."

"Alonzo was terrific," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "He was really something and played at a high level but everybody did."

Gee made 11 straight field goals at one stage, falling just one shy of the school record for most consecutive set by Buck Johnson against Mississippi State in 1983.

"Dang," Gee said. "It feels good, but now I wish I could have made that 12th one."

The Crimson Tide (11-1) jumped out to an impressive 55-30 advantage through the opening 20 minutes as they shot 70 percent (21-of-30), including 8-of-13 from the arc.

"It was a good win for us going into the break," Hendrix said. "We needed the chance to get all five starters on the court and jell a little bit to see how things would be going into the break."

Alabama dashed Coppin State's hope of a second-half comeback with a 15-1 surge after intermission capped by consecutive jumpers from Jermareo Davidson with 16:40 remaining.

"We worked hard all week," said Steele, who had nine points and nine assists. "We are excited about going home for Christmas but we all love to come out and play, especially to see the other guys who don't get to play much get in. That was really fun to watch."

Davidson played with a heavy heart, having learned of the death of older brother Dewayne Watkins late Wednesday. The 6-10 senior also is still mourning the loss of girlfriend Nikki Murphy, who died in an car accident November 11.

Davidson finished with six points, seven rebounds and five blocks.

Mykel Riley scored 13 points off the bench and Demetrius Jemison chipped in 10 and nine rebounds for Alabama, which shot 61 percent (39-of-64) and held a 52-24 edge in rebounds.

"What I liked about the game was how we shared the ball and passed the ball," Gottfried said. "We made the extra pass. Guys were getting good looks at the basket. There wasn't anybody who did a whole lot of negative things. It's a good game to have right before Christmas."

Tywain McKee scored 12 points and Michael Norwood Jr. added 11 for the Eagles (2-9), who shot just 29 percent (20-of-67) and were outscored, 44-19, in the second half.

"Our team played with a lack of enthusiasm," Coppin State coach Ron Mitchell said. "Alabama had their way with us. They shot the ball tremendously in the first half, and we could never really get out of it. We played like a team ready to go home for holidays."

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    COPPIN ST 30 19 49
    ALABAMA (10) 55 44 99 FINAL

    Dec 23 4:58 PM

    COPPIN ST 30

    Dec 23 3:47 PM