Alabama hangs on to beat Western Carolina 80-74
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Levi Randolph scored 19 points and Ricky Tarrant had 18 to help Alabama hang on to beat Western Carolina 80-74 in the second round of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Monday night.
Jimmie Taylor added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Shannon Hale had 10 points for Alabama (2-0).
James Sinclair scored a career-high 31 points for Western Carolina (0-2), making 10 of 18 from the field, including four 3-pointers and 7 of 9 free throws. Rhett Harrelson had 13 points and Mike Brown 12.
With the score tied at 67, Alabama outscored Western Carolina 13-7 the rest of the way. Four free throws by Randolph and two by Hale in the last 22 seconds sealed the win.
Down eight at the half, Western Carolina fought back to take a 52-50 lead on a field goal by Harrelson with 11:43 left.
Sinclair almost single-handedly kept the Catamounts in the game, scoring 16 straight points with Western Carolina taking a 67-61 lead.
In the first half, Alabama went on a 13-1 run to jump out in front 23-11 on two free throws by Randolph. The Catamounts cut the advantage to 23-19 when Harrelson buried back-to-back 3-point shots. The Crimson Tide responded by scoring 12 of the next 17 points to build the lead back to 35-24, before settling for a 41-33 advantage at the half.
Alabama only made 1 of 9 3-point attempts, but stayed ahead of the Catamounts by shooting 50 percent (11 of 22) from the floor and making 18 of its 22 free throw attempts.
Crimson Tide: Freshman Jeff Garrett missed his second straight game after having his wisdom teeth extracted. Transfer forward Michael Kessens made his Crimson Tide debut after sitting out Alabama's first game while recovering from a sports hernia problem.
Catamounts: Western Carolina played its second straight SEC opponent after losing 66-56 to Mississippi State on Friday night. Western Carolina has two players from the state of Alabama, guard Rhett Harrelson from Enterprise and forward Justin Browning from Sylacauga.
Crimson Tide: host Southern Mississippi Thursday night.
Catamounts: vs. Hiwassee College Friday night.