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Davidson leads Alabama past Oklahoma

Jan 2, 2007 - 12:46 AM TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Jermareo Davidson is trying his best to keep his focus on the basketball court.

Davidson scored 17 points as eighth-ranked Alabama pulled away for a 70-55 victory over Oklahoma.

A senior who is the anchor of the Crimson Tide's frontcourt, Davidson has endured a nightmarish season. His girlfriend was killed last month when a car they were riding in flipped on a Georgia interstate. His older brother also was shot and killed last month.

"This kind of helps me get away from things. It's relaxing and it takes my mind off things," Davidson said.

Three days after going over 1,000 career points, Davidson was able to lead Alabama (13-1) to its sixth straight win by making 6-of-15 shots in 32 minutes.

Richard Hendrix added 14 points 10 rebounds and Ronald Steele scored 13 points for the Crimson Tide, who held a 27-21 halftime lead before taking control of the final 20 minutes.

"I feel like in times past, without Ron and Jermareo, the team needed someone to step up and show a little more consistency every night and take a little bit more of a leadership role," said Hendrix, who registered his fourth straight double-double. "That is something I've always wanted to do regardless if they are there or not."

Alabama shot a blistering 67 percent (12-of-18) in the second half. The Crimson Tide also made 22-of-24 free throws overall, compared to just 4-of-9 for the Sooners.

"I thought we played much better in the second half," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "We never really got into the flow of the game in the first half. We looked at our zone some in the first half and during halftime. We felt like we needed to go with our man defense so we could really get aggressive and really get after them.

"A lot of different guys stepped up. You can go through the whole lineup and say a lot of guys did things well."

It also was the 15th straight home win for Alabama, which opens its Southeastern Conference schedule Saturday at Arkansas.

Tony Crocker scored 15 points and David Godbold contributed 11 for Oklahoma (8-4), which had a season-high four-game winning streak stopped.

    --- --- -----
    OKLAHOMA 21 34 55
    ALABAMA (8) 27 43 70 FINAL

    Jan 1 4:28 PM


    Jan 1 3:21 PM