The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 12, 2012

Alabama rides Lacey to 80-49 win over West Alabama


Associated Press

— TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Trevor Lacey scored a career-high 23 points to lead Alabama to an easy 80-49 victory over West Alabama on Sunday night.

Lacey, who fired in a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat South Dakota State 70-67 Friday night in the first round of the 2K Sports Classic's Tuscaloosa region, was 5 for 5 from 3-point range against the Tigers.

Rodney Cooper had 16 points and seven rebounds and Trevor Releford 14 points. Jack Hill had 18 points and 13 rebounds for West Alabama.

Alabama (2-0) jumped out to a 12-4 lead, but West Alabama, an NCAA Division II team, went on a 10-3 run to pull within 15-14 on a layup by Hill. The Crimson Tide then outscored the Tigers 21-11 to take a 36-25 lead at the half.

Hill had 12 points, almost half of the Tigers' total at intermission. West Alabama (0-1) had a 21-14 rebounding advantage at the half, but made only 1 of 10 from 3-point range.

West Alabama's Steven Samuels made a 3-point shot to start the second half, but after that the Crimson Tide steadily pulled away. A 3-point shot by Levi Randolph with 1:51 to go made the score 79-44, Alabama's largest lead of the game.

"I thought we got through the storm, then (in the second half) they made their run," said West Alabama coach Mike Newell. "There's a big difference between Division I and Division II kids . Generally these kind of games are an eye-opening experience."

"I thought it was a good win for our team," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "We wanted to make sure we did a good job of coming off an emotional win on Friday. Our overall effort was really good . We did a good job of creating 13 turnovers and 13 steals, and that kind of set the tone for us.

"Some of that was due to the accumulative effort, the pressure that we were applying. I'm happy with the 25 turnovers, 13 of which resulted in steals. We were able to create havoc, and I thought we were able to do that today."

In the first two rounds of the 2K Classic, Lacey scored 38 points, shooting 13 of 20 from the floor and making seven of his 10 3-point shots. He has also dished out seven assists, and grabbed six rebounds.

Alabama advances to the 2K semifinals in Madison Square Garden in New York City where it will face Oregon State on Thursday and then either Purdue or Villanova on Friday.