Alabama sets tone early, defeats CSU, 76-46

Alabama sets tone early, defeats CSU, 76-46

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back to hand Charleston Southern a 76-46 defeat on Tuesday at Coleman Coliseum.

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CSU (3-3) entered winners of two straight but fell behind 40-15 at halftime and trailed by as many as 37 points in the second half. Alabama (4-2) frustrated the Bucs on the defensive end of the floor all night long, forcing 22 turnovers while allowing just 34 percent shooting. Braxton Key scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half to pace three Crimson Tide players in double figures scoring.

Armel Potter led CSU with 12 points, while Patrick Wallace came off the bench to tally nine on the strength of three three-pointers. The Bucs will look to bounce back at home this Saturday against Abilene Christian.

Key knocked down two threes and the Tide added a pair of inside scores to immediately set the tone. CSU was held off the scoreboard until Javis Howard connected on a mid-range jumper 4:45 into play. After CSU briefly cut its deficit to seven, Alabama countered with nine more points in a row to go up 21-5 and never relinquished a double digit advantage.

CSU kept its deficit near where it was at intermission early in the second half, with a Wallace trey and a Potter three-point play providing the highlights. Howard's free throw made it 53-28 with 12:42 left but the Tide then poured it on with the next 12 points. Shannon Hale capped that flurry with a steal and three-point play in transition, sending the edge to 65-28 at the 8:50 mark.

Antwan Maxwell had four late points to help CSU bring the deficit below 30 at one point in the closing minutes. Potter scored the game's last basket in the lane after Alabama's Lawson Schaffer prompted cheers from the home crowd with a three late in the shot clock.

CSU will play Abilene Christian in the back half of a home-and-home this Saturday at the Buc Dome. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. The Bucs rallied from 17 points behind to top the Wildcats, 66-65, in Abilene on Nov. 22.

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