The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 20, 2013

Alabama defeats Georgia State 75-58

— USCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Trevor Releford scored 19 points to lead Alabama to a 75-58 win over Georgia State in the NIT season tip-off.

Retin Obasohan added 18 points and three blocks for Alabama, which is now on a three-game winning streak.

Rashaad Richardson led the Panthers with 16 points and Manny Atkins added 14.

The Crimson Tide (3-1) will play No. 6 Duke at Madison Square Garden in the semifinal round of the preseason tournament on Nov. 27.

"We're excited about the opportunity to go to New York," Releford said. "That's what we're looking forward to. We're ready to play against anybody."

Alabama will be playing in Madison Square Garden for the third time in four years.

The Crimson Tide won last year's 2K Sports Classic at the Garden. They fell to Wichita State in the 2011 NIT final.

Alabama just missed going back to New York last season when a last-second shot against Maryland in the NIT fell short.

"Madison Square Garden is one of the most famous arenas in the country," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "Any time you get a chance to play there it's a privilege and an honor. We're excited to have a chance to go back and compete at that arena."

The game started with a first half that featured four lead changes. But with the score tied at 19 with 9:29 left in the half, Alabama went on a 15-2 run over the next 4:12 to break the game open and take the lead for good.

The Crimson Tide started the second half with an 11-2 run that gave them a 17-point lead. They eventually extended the lead to as many as 23.

Alabama out-rebounded the Panthers 40-24 and scored 22 points off of 13 turnovers.

"From a rebounding effort, it was probably our best effort," Grant said. "When you combine the defensive effort our guys put forth, combined with the rebounding, I thought we had a really good performance tonight."

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