TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- With the start of Southeastern Conference play just around the corner, Alabama coach Mike Gottfried notched a key victory.
Earnest Shelton scored 14 points and Jermareo Davidson added 12 as the 13th-ranked Crimson Tide wrapped up the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 68-57 victory over New Orleans.
Alabama (11-2) bounced back from a 76-62 loss to Wisconsin on Wednesday, a game in which they posted a season-low point total and had a six-game winning streak snapped.
Ronald Steele scored all 10 of his points in the first half as the Crimson Tide hit 6-of-11 3-pointers and led 41-24 at intermission.
Evan Brock finished a 3-on-2 fast break with a two-handed dunk to extend Alabama's lead to 52-32 midway through the second half.
"I really liked how we played in the first half," Gottfried said. "We executed the offense and scored off the pass. We played defense well. I think in the second half, we broke our rhythm a little bit, substituting like we did. But overall it was a good win."
Bo McCalebb finished with 26 points for New Orleans (5-8) and helped the Privateers get within 65-55, when he hit a layup with 2:54 remaining.
Alabama allowed the Privateers to climb back in the game, making just one basket in the final 12:53 and shooting 26 percent (6-of-23) in the second half.
"Give Alabama credit for winning the game, as they are a powerful basketball team," Privateers coach Monte Towe said. "We did a good job on (defending) field goals, particularly in the second half. We just couldn't keep them off the (free throw) line."
Alabama was 25-of-33 from the free-throw line, while New Orleans was 7-of-10 in the first meeting between the teams since 1987.
The Crimson Tide won their 42nd straight home game against non-conference opponents. Gottfried was coaching his 100th home game, going 87-13 over that span.