A spectacular 360-degree dunk highlighted an impressive performance by sophomore Alonzo Gee who scored a career-high 26 points to lead the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide to a 99-49 victory over Coppin State.
"I do that a lot," said Gee of his highlight-reel dunk. "I learned how to do it back when I was in high school. My teammates always want me to do stuff like that in a game but I never do it. So I decided to do it tonight."
"We don't let Alonzo dunk in practice," joked Richard Hendrix. "Every time he gets a chance we make him finger roll but when he gets in the game that's when we let him show off. I've seen him do all kinds of stuff, he's amazing. He's got more tricks up his sleeve that people haven't even seen yet."
Gee also contributed 9 rebounds and a steal and hit on each of his first 11 shots, falling one short of the school record for consecutive field goals. Gee leads the Tide this season with 16.7 points per game.
Senior Jermareo Davidson registered 6 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks for the Tide despite mourning the death of his brother who passed away Thursday in an Atlanta hospital.
"Basically we've just tried to tell him that we're behind him," said Ronald Steele. "There's not much we can say to ease the pain, we just want to be there for him and be available when he needs us."
"It was good to have him back," Hendrix said. "He's had a rough time but sometimes playing basketball can help get your mind off things and ease the pain a little. He's a strong person and he's going to get through it."
Steele, who is still recovering from multiple injuries, contributed 9 points, all from three-point range, and 9 assists.
"I'd say I'm around 70 to 75 percent," Steele said. "I still can't really make plays in the lane so I'm having to rely on my jump shooting right now. It felt better today as I played more so I'm optimistic."
Mark Gottfried said he was impressed with his team's effort in a game where plenty of distractions could have affected his players' performances.
"It was a good game for us right before Christmas," said Gottfried. "I thought we shared the ball well and made the extra pass all night long. Alonzo was spectacular. He was playing at a really high level. Usually when I see him go up I close my eyes and walk away because I'm always afraid someone is going to get hurt."
After getting off to a slow start Mykal Riley turned in a solid 13 point effort while sophomore phenom Richard Hendrix put up 15 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th career double-double. Hendrix leads the Tide this season in total rebounds with 108.
True freshman Demetrius Jemison fell just short of his first career double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds while Yamene Coleman pulled in 10 rebounds while battling a minor back injury.
Also scoring for the Tide were Justin Tubbs with 3 points, Brandon Hollinger with 6, Mikhail Torrance with 4 and walk-on Greg Cage with 4.
For Coppin State, guard Tywain McKee led the way with 12 points and 3 steals followed by Julian Conyers who put up 11 points and 4 rebounds.