It was difficult to tell what set Knight off. Play under the basket had been rough, but his Cardinals had just scored a field goal when Knight was whistled. He had to be restrained by his assistant coaches as he drew the second technical and automatic ejection that somes with it. Alabama was leading by only 38-29 with 17:22 to play when Knight walked to the dressing room.
To his credit, Knight came to the media room and said that he would answer questions, although, he joked “I didn’t see all the game. Since my dad’s in the media now, I have to be media friendly.” He said he did not earn the first technical foul, “but I earned the second one.” He did say that the rough play was what disturbed him.
He said while he was out of the gym that he called his wife, his father, and a friend.
He didn’t miss a great game, especially by his team. The play that set Knight off was one of just eight that resulted in a field goal for the Cardinals in the second half.
The big news among those participants who were there for the entire 40 minutes was Rodney Cooper coming back from having missed a game with tendonitis in his shoulder to score 17 points, pull down eight rebounds, and dish out 3 of Bama’s 13 assists.
Alabama returns to action Saturday at Cincinnati for a Southeastern Conference vs. Big East Challenge game. Tipioff will be at 2 p.m. CST. The Tide returns to Coleman Coliseum Dec. 5 against Dayton.
Alabama had taken control of a close game late in the second half to lead 36-27 at intermission. The Tide outscored Lamar 16-6 in the first 10 minutes of the second half to lead by 52-33 and had a 25-point lead with just over five minutes to play.
Retin Obasohan, who started in place of an ill Trevor Releford at point guard, had 13 points and Levi Randolph 10 points. Also scoring 10 points was walk-on Dakota Slaughter, who hit 4-5 from the field, including a three-pointer.
Lamar was led by Stan Brown, who hit 6-10 from the field (including one just before Knight’s technical) and had 14 points and 9 rebounds.
Alabama came into the game shooting over 40 per cent on three-point shots, but made only 25 per cent – 5-20 – against Lamar. One reason was that Cooper, for all his good shots, was 0-7 on three-point tries. He was 8-11 on two-point shots.
Alabama did shoot 46.9 per cent from the field (30-64) and held the Cardinals to only 37.5 per cent shooting (21-56) and only 1-7 (14.3 per cent) on three-point shots.
Alabama had a 40-30 advantage in rebounding with Moussa Gueye pulling down 9.
One notable feature of the Alabama defense was forcing three shot clock violations and one failure to cross the 10-second line. Bama also had 12 blocked shots, three each by Devonta Pollard and Carl Engstrom.
Alabama outscored Lamar 34-22 in the paint, including 22-8 in the second half. Bama scored 20 points off 20 turnovers by the Cardinals. The Tide had a 19-8 advantage in second half points.
Perhaps the absence of Releford, who was out with illness, contributed to sloppy ball-handling. Bama had eight first half turnovers that contributed to six Lamar points and finished with 13 turnovers, but for only eight points.
TIDE NOTES: Alabama was at less than full strength Tuesday night with Andrtew Steele out with an aggravated groin injury, Trevor Releford ill, and Rodney Cooper still recuperating from shoulder tendonitis. Steele was not in uniform, but Releford and Cooper were.
Alabama’s starting lineup had Retin Obasohan at point guard, Carl Engstrom at center, Devonta Pollard at forward, and Trevor Lacey and Levi Randolph on the wings.
Walkons saw early playing time with Dakota Slaughter and Keon Blackledge both getting in during first half play. Julian Goode and Isiah Wilson were non-scholarshipped players participating in the final moments.
Carl Engstrom scored the first basket of the game and the second basket of the second half and finished the night 2-2 for four points.