Gee leads Alabama to 80-73 win over Wofford
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)—Game high scorer Alonzo Gee had 21 points and nine rebounds to help lead Alabama to an 80-73 win over Wofford Monday night.
The Crimson Tide (6-3) built a ten point lead in the second half before the Terriers (4-4) whittled it down to three points, at 74-71, with less than two minutes to go. Then the Tide widened the margin back to seven points to seal the win.
Alabama took an initial lead of 2-0 before Wofford made four straight 3-pointers to jump to a 12-5 lead at the 17:05 mark. Wofford stayed ahead for the rest of the first half, leading by as many as eight points. Alabama rallied to cut Wofford’s lead to one point, at 37-36, going into the half.
“Let me start off by saying, first of all, the first five minutes of the game I don’t think we had nearly the energy that we needed to have,” said Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried of his team’s start. “That’s my responsibility. We’ve got to come out there and get a good start. I think what happens when you start the game and all of the sudden you hit four or five in a row, undoubtedly you’re going to feel a little differently about how the game is played all night long.”
Alabama came out quickly in the second half and led 49-43 with 15:41 to go in the game. Play was even for a while, with Wofford narrowing Alabama’s advantage to 56-55 with 5:31 to go. Then, Alabama went on a 15-6 run to break open the game.
“We were slow coming out,” said Gee. “That’s what hurt us in the beginning. We just have to come out, play hard and be aggressive. That’s what it is. We have to play aggressive and we have to be leaders out there.”
Richard Hendrix had 16 points for the Tide, and Mykal Riley added 11 more.
Shane Nichols had 20 points for Wofford. Junior Salters had 17, and Drew Gibson chipped in with 13. Tim Johnson had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The game was the first of four, the first two taking place on campus sites, that Alabama plays in the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic. Each of the eight teams in the tournament is guaranteed four games.