Stillman (1-2) at Alabama (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 18, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coleman Coliseum (15,316) -- Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Stillman 0-0, Alabama 1-0. Away Record: Stillman 1-1, Alabama 0-0. Neutral Record: Stillman 0-1, Alabama 0-1. Conference Record: Stillman 0-0, Alabama 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The NIT Season Tip-Off continues on Monday night, as South Regional hosts, the Alabama Crimson Tide do battle with the Stillman College Tigers at Coleman Coliseum.
McNeese State and Georgia State are also playing on Monday in the South Regional. The winners will face off on Tuesday for the right to go on to the semifinal round, while the losers will play a consolation matchup.
Stillman, a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference at the Division II level, has gotten off to a 1-2 start, a year removed from posting an 18-win campaign. The Tigers have a win over Alabama-Huntsville (74-71) sandwiched in between a pair of losses to North Alabama (85-78) and West Alabama (105-75).
Alabama began its season with a neutral-court affair against Oklahoma, losing to the Sooners in an 82-73 final, but it prevailed in its home opener on Thursday night against another Big 12 Conference foe in Texas Tech, 76-64. The Tide have defended their home court exceptionally well in recent years, going 48-7 at Coleman Coliseum since the start of the 2010-11 season.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between Stillman and Alabama on the hardwood.
Stillman was dominated by West Alabama in its latest contest, as it was outshot from the field, 62.3 percent to 40 percent, en route to the 30-point loss. Jeffrey Wherry led the team with 21 points, but he did so on just 5- of-15 efficiency from the floor, leaving him with a lackluster .256 field goal percentage for the season. Justin Harris netted 16 points, while Markeith Madison and Stanley Magee poured in 15 and 13, respectively. Although the Tigers average nearly 76 points per contest, they have not been able to stop anyone at the other end of the floor, allowing foes to net 87.0 points per game in hitting nearly half of their total shots. Madison (19.7 ppg) is the club's go-to scoring option, and he also rips down a team-best 7.7 rebounds per game. Harris (13.3 ppg), Wherry (12.3 ppg) and Magee (12.3 ppg) are also regular contributors.
The Crimson Tide opened up a double-digit halftime lead against Texas Tech on Thursday and never looked back, shooting 54.9 percent from the floor and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line in notching their first win of the season. Trevor Releford was on fire, connecting on 11-of-14 field goal attempts (including 5-of-7 from 3-point range) en route to 29 points -- the second- highest scoring output of his career. Retin Obasohan was also a difference- maker in the backcourt with 15 points, four assists and five steals, while Levi Randolph came off the bench to tally 10 points. It's been a strong start to the season for Alabama shooting wise, as the team is connecting on nearly 51 percent of its field goal attempts. Releford's big night against the Red Raiders improved his team-leading scoring average to 20.5 points per game. Obasohan (14.5 ppg), Algie Key (11.0 ppg) and Rodney Cooper (8.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) have been impressive as well.
Simply put, Stillman has very little chance to keep this game even remotely competitive. Expect the Tide to empty the bench early.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Alabama 95, Stillman College 55
11/18 10:32:58 ET