Alabama beats Kennesaw State 77-64
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Retin Obasohan scored 18 points and head coach Avery Johnson made his collegiate head coaching debut as Alabama beat Kennesaw State 77-64 in a season opener on Friday night.
Obasohan was 6 of 10 from the field for the Crimson Tide. Dazon Ingram had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Shannon Hale added 13 points.
''Dazon's a gamer,'' Obasohan said. ''He's one of those guys that's really, really talented and has tremendous potential and what you guys saw tonight was just a glimpse of it.''
Johnson made his collegiate head coaching debut in front of a crowd of 14,970.
''If we can continue to build on that crowd tonight, then we start to have an incredible home court advantage here in Coleman Coliseum like a lot of other top programs around the country,'' Johnson said.
Alabama never trailed after taking a 2-0 lead just two minutes into the first half. The Crimson Tide shot 29 of 57 (50.9 percent) from the field overall and 4 of 17 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Kennesaw State hit 19 of 55 (34.5 percent) from the field and 7 of 19 (36.8 percent) from 3-point range.
''If you told me the rest of this year, we're going to score 77-plus points a game and we're gonna shoot close to 51 percent from the field, I'll sleep pretty good at night,'' Johnson said. ''That's a pretty good deal for us.''
The Owls outrebounded the Tide 39-38, but Alabama had 11 steals to Kennesaw State's seven. The Tide scored 25 off of turnovers and 12 second-chance points to the Owls' eight and 10, respectively.
At the end of the first half, the Tide led 43-32. The Owls shot 10 for 30 from the field and made two 3-pointers in the first half.
Alabama led by as much as 16 in the first half and as much as 17 on the night. The Owls cut into the lead to get within seven after 13 minutes in the second half, but it wasn't enough to close the deficit as the Tide pulled ahead by as many as 14 in the last minute.
Yonel Brown played the entire game for the Owls and led all scorers with 34 points. He finished with 10 rebounds and three steals and was perfect on his eight free throw attempts.
''We keep the ball in his hands a lot,'' Kennesaw State head coach Al Skinner said. ''He kind of got it going a little bit so he probably shot the ball a little bit more tonight than he normally would have.''