ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Ticker) -- No. 19 Alabama let host Alaska-Anchorage know that this year's Great Alaska Shootout will not be as easy as last season's.
Earnest Shelton scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half as Alabama coasted to a 90-55 victory over Division II Alaska-Anchorage.
The Seawolves, who have hosted the tournament every year since 1978, had their best performance in the event last season, winning the consolation bracket after a three-point loss to Seton Hall in the first round.
It was a different story in this one as Shelton converted a three-point play 30 seconds into the contest, starting a 16-0 run over the first five minutes.
Marcus Robinson finally got Alaska-Anchorage on the board with a 3-pointer with 14:46 on the clock before Alabama methodically pulled away to a 54-20 lead at the break.
The Crimson Tide held the Seawolves to just 24 percent shooting (8-of-34), while making 63 percent (20-of-32) of their shots.
"Our mindset was we just need to take care of the business at hand," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "I thought the first half we defended them really well and obviously shot the ball well."
Mark Drake came off the bench to score eight points in the second half for Alaska-Anchorage, which got no closer than 31 in the final period.
"It's very simple," Alaska-Anchorage coach Rusty Osborne said. "We've got a very inexperienced group, we've got a lot of newcomers and we went up against an experienced group at another level."
Jermareo Davidson had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Ronald Steele added 14 for the Crimson Tide, who will play Minnesota in the second round Friday.
"I was really proud of Jermareo Davidson," Gottfried said. "I thought he played big and around the basket used his size to his advantage."
The Seawolves will face Furman on Friday in the consolation bracket.