TUSCALOOSA _ One had to wonder if Tuesday night was more fun or difficult for former University of Alabama men's basketball coach Wimp Sanderson, who sat in the seventh row at Coleman Coliseum to watch his son's team face off against the Crimson Tide.
There was no doubt about how Scott Sanderson felt after Lipscomb was shellacked by the Crimson Tide, 71-51.
"Wow, that's all I can say, wow" Sanderson said. "I didn't see that coming at all. They had a lot to do with it, but we were pretty bad.
"I didn't enjoy it at all, not one thing about it."
If Sanderson was wondering where this kind of effort had been from Alabama, so were many of the fans as the Tide came out scrapping, shut down the interior and dominated under the rim. While senior guard Charvez Davis got hot from the outside to make 5-of-6 3-point attempts and finish with a career-high 22 points, UA outscored the Bisons 42-22 in the paint and also tallied 10 blocks.
Sophomore forward Tony Mitchell had 18 points and eight rebounds, junior forward JaMychal Green had 14 points and four blocks and senior forward Chris Hines grabbed 10 rebounds as Alabama improved to (6-6).
"I'm very proud of the effort we gave," Coach Anthony Grant said. "That was a very good team and this was a very good win for us."
Mostly, though, it was a game of runs, with Alabama jumping out to an 8-0 lead, Lipscomb countering with a 10-0 stretch, and the Crimson Tide coming back with 7-0 and 11-0 runs for a 35-21 halftime lead.
While guard Josh Slater and forward Adnan Hodzic came in averaging a combined 40.1 points per game they went 5-of-17 for 12 points in the first half and finished with just 22. Overall, the 51 points were season low.
Despite being down, Lipscomb (7-3), which had only lost to No. 8 North Carolina and No. 9 Baylor, was able to stay with striking distance until midway through the second half when after shrinking a 17-point deficit down to eight, Davis knocked down 3s on three straight possessions to bring the home crowd to its feet.
"Once I got going I just wanted to keep shooting," said Davis, with Hines adding: "That was not only great for tonight, but great for our season."
"That run kind of sealed the game," Grant said.
Alabama also had 19 assists compared to just 13 turnovers, while Lipscomb shot just 28.8 percent, well off its 47.5 average.
Combined with the team's strong effort in the second half against Oklahoma State last Saturday, Alabama has cause for some optimism heading into the second half of the season. The Crimson Tide will break for Christmas, but return to Coleman Coliseum on Dec. 28 to take on Pepperdine. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.
"I didn't see that on film," said Sanderson, who thought it was the best Alabama had played all season. "If he can bottle that up, defensively, they can improve drastically."