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March 15, 2011
Tide avoids distraction for NIT win
TUSCALOOSA | For the University of Alabama basketball team, the main fear Tuesday night was either complacency or distraction.
The Crimson Tide didn't suffer from either one, overwhelming an undermanned Coastal Carolina team 68-44 to win in the opening round of the NIT. Next, Alabama will face New Mexico in Tuscaloosa at a time and day to be announced.
Alabama forced 19 turnovers that led to 29 points. UA snapped an early 5-5 tie with a 13-2 run and never looked back against the Chanticleers, champions of the Big South Conference.
"For us, the emphasis was on defense," Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant said. "We wanted to play to our identity and I thought we did that. That was the message we have tried to send to the guys - play to our identity - and we're glad that it was heard."
UA guard Charvez Davis, one of three Alabama players to score a team-leading 12 points, said the Crimson Tide's energetic performance was not a specific message for the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee that passed over the Tide earlier this week.