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Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2002 12:14 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(5) Alabama 89, Nc Greensboro 61
NC GREENSBORO SPARTANS
NC Greensboro Spartans
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ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
Alabama Crimson Tide
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TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) --Erwin Dudley scored 18 points and Kenny Walker added 17 as fifth-ranked Alabama posted an 89-61 victory over North Carolina-Greensboro to match a school record with its 22nd consecutive home win.

The Spartans (3-2) stayed closed for the most of the first half, taking a 24-23 lead with seven minutes remaining. But Alabama (5-0) closed the half with a 25-4 burst to open a 48-28 lead at the intermission.

"I thought at the start we had our cool jacket on just a little bit," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "After about seven or eight minutes into the game, I thought our defensive intensity really picked up."

The Crimson Tide matched their record home winning streak that spanned the last three games of the 1970-71 season through the first six contests of the 1973-74 campaign.

"They overwhelmed us," Spartans coach Fran McCaffery said. "They were quicker to the ball and they were the more aggressive team. If you're going to go on the road and play the (No. 5 team), you have to get to the ball, and we didn't do that."

Mo Williams added 13 points and seven assists for Alabama, which shot 49 percent from the field (34-of-70), a marked improvement from its last game, when the Crimson Tide shot just 28 percent in a 54-48 win over Ohio State in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic last Friday.

"We came out and played our game," Walker said. "Shots were falling for us. We were comfortable playing at home."

James Maye was the only player in double figures for UNC-Greensboro with 13 points. Jay Joseph and Josh Gross added nine apiece. The Spartans were held to 38 percent shooting (23-of-61).

"When they play with that much intensity defensively, it makes it hard for us to do what we want do," McCaffery said. "We are not a young team. We are experienced enough to hold them, and we didn't, and that's what's disappointing."

Alabama dominated inside, outscoring the Spartans in the paint, 38-10. It also maintained a 46-32 edge on the boards.

"We came out with enthusiasm and pressured the ball and tried to make it seem like there was seven (players) on the court," said Alabama guard Antoine Pettway, who chipped in with eight points. "We focused on defense all week and it paid off."

Walker's jumper gave Alabama the lead for good at 25-24 with 7:22 left in the first half and ignited a 15-0 run. After the Spartans' Tizz Johnson ended the spurt, Pettway and Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 46-26 with 1:38 left in the half.

The Crimson Tide finished with a 38-10 edge in points in the paint. They also had 19 second-chance points, compared to just nine for the Spartans.

"I liked the way we handled the ball," Gottfried said. "We executed our offense. In the first half we really got some good ball movement, which resulted in good shots. We wanted to go inside. We felt like we could control the paint."

Alabama took its biggest lead at 71-39 on Dudley's jumper with 11:18 remaining, which allowed Gottfried to empty his bench.


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