Alabama beats Stanford 66-54 in NIT second round
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Levi Randolph scored 16 points and Retin Obasohan had a career-high 14 to lead Alabama to a 66-54 victory over Stanford on Saturday in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
The Crimson Tide (23-12) will play Maryland on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals, hoping for its second trip to Madison Square Garden in three years.
The Cardinal (19-15), last year’s NIT champion, twice closed to within four points in the second half but went 4:40 without a field goal late. They managed a season-low in points and were held below 60 in both NIT games, including a 58-57 win over Stephen F. Austin.
Tide coach Anthony Grant called it “as complete a game as we’ve had.”
“From start to finish, our defense was outstanding,” Grant said. “We were really concerned with their ability from the 3-point line. We knew we had to be locked in defensively.
“We made it difficult for them. It allowed us to get out in transition, get a little bit of a lead and then in the second half it continued.”
Nick Jacobs and Trevor Releford each scored 10 points for the Tide, which has held 23 of 35 opponents to fewer than 60 points.
Randolph has 29 points in the two NIT games after coming in averaging 7.5.
Chasson Randle led Stanford with 11 points while Robbie Lemons had 10. Leading scorer Dwight Powell was 1-of-6 shooting for two points. He played only 24 minutes because of foul trouble and had eight rebounds.
“If he caught the ball in the low post, they doubled him,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “That takes the ball out of his hands there. When he did receive the ball in the perimeter they did a good job of shrinking the floor and making it difficult for him to make an individual play.”
Aaron Bright’s long 3-pointer with 5:33 left made it 54-50, but it took Stanford more than three minutes to score again.
The Tide scored the next seven points. Jacobs got free for an open shot in the paint with Powell unable to risk a fifth foul. Bright traveled and Obasohan made a mid-range jumper before Randolph hit a free throw.
Alabama made 8 of 10 foul shots down the stretch to keep the game out of reach.
Obasohan had nine points in the second half after missing all four field goal attempts in the first.
“Our focus is not really on the offensive game so I didn’t even know I was 0 for 4,” he said. “I just come out and play defense and whatever happens, happens.”
He was perfect on eight free throw attempts and Alabama made 22 of 26.
“They came out energized and physical,” Stanford’s Josh Huestle said. “They made us speed up and play at their pace, which we can’t do, and that brought us out of their game.”