College basketball: Randolph pours in career-high 33 to pace Tide win
by Marq Burnett
Feb 22, 2014 | 1878 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama's Levi Randolph (20) dunks in the first half against Missouri. (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Dusty Compton)
Alabama's Levi Randolph (20) dunks in the first half against Missouri. (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Dusty Compton)
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TUSCALOOSA -- Levi Randolph was aggressive from the start, actively hunting his shot.

The junior set the tone for Alabama’s 80-73 victory over Missouri with 19 first half points en route to a career-high 33 on Saturday.

“Once you see a shot go in, you feel good,” Tide coach Anthony Grant said. “He’s shot the ball well the last couple of games. He works hard. He’s had his struggles. Our team has had their struggles shooting the ball. It’s good to see hard work be rewarded.

“I was just happy for him to have that type of game in that type of situation that he had tonight. I think it’s well deserved.”

The Crimson Tide (11-16, 5-9 SEC) ended a two-game skid.

Randolph knocked down 11 of his 15 shots including five 3-pointers. He also led the Tide with 38 minutes played. Randolph was able to get a few dunks early to help get him going.

“As a basketball player, you try to (get) easy buckets,” Randolph said. “They get you going a little bit. I was trying to play in the flow of the game and take what came.”

Senior guard Trevor Releford put in 18 points and handed out six assists. Releford went to the locker room early in the first half after taking a knee to his upper thigh.

He returned after a brief rest and finished the game, playing a total of 35 minutes. Grant said Releford suffered a contusion and will receive treatment, but added Releford should be fine going forward.

“Trevor played completely on heart and guts tonight,” Grant said. “He was nowhere near 100 percent so he played on just guts.”

For the night, the Tide shot 57.4 percent (27-47) from the floor and 47.6 percent (10-21) of its 3-pointers.

Alabama was outrebounded 36-24, but forced 16 turnovers and converted them into 19 points.

“Tough loss for us. I thought Alabama played with a lot more passion, a lot more toughness than we did,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “I thought we didn’t defend at all. … It really hurt us that we weren’t able to do what we needed to do on that (defensive) end of the court. That was really disappointing.”

The Tide will travel to Ole Miss on Wednesday before returning home to host rival Auburn on March 1.
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