TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Retin Obasohan had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Rodney Cooper had 16 points and seven rebounds to lead Alabama to a 59-45 victory over Charleston Southern.
Saah Nimley had 15 points, Sheldon Strickland added 10 and Paul Gombwer pulled down 15 rebounds for Charleston Southern.Ahead 24-23 at the half, Alabama (5-4) opened the second half with a 20-11 run, bolting to a 44-34 lead. Rodney Cooper punctuated with run with a 3-pointer with 7:31 remaining in the game. The Crimson Tide, which has now won 15 consecutive regular-season home games, maintained a comfortable lead throughout the second half, gradually pulling away to win a low scoring game against a high-scoring team.Obasahon made two free throws to put the Tide ahead 50-40 with 3:43 to go, matching its biggest lead to that point.Charleston Southern (3-5), which entered the game with five players averaging double-figures in scoring and leading the nation in scoring offense at 92.1 points a game, jumped out to a 15-7 lead on back-to-back 3-point shots by Nimley and Arlon Harper at the 10:47 mark.The Crimson Tide took the lead for the first time, 16-15, on two free throws by Obasohan with 7:55 left in the first half. The Buccaneers regained the advantage 21-20 with 2:33 to go on a lay-up by Alhaji Fullah, but Obasohan, who scored 11 points in the first half, made two free throws and a field goal to put Alabama back in front 24-21 with 1:09 left.Saunders made two free throws for Charleston Southern to make it 24-23 at intermission.The Buccaneers entered the game making 42 percent of their 3-point shots but managed to shoot only 23.5 percent beyond the arc against the Crimson Tide. They also shot 23.5 percent from the floor.Trevor Releford, the Tide's leading scorer, did not play due to a hip injury.