Birmingham, AL, United States (AHN Sports) – Trevor Releford and the rest of his Crimson Tide teammates didn’t miss their star Wednesday night.
Releford scored 19 points as Alabama jumped out early and defeated Oklahoma State, 69-52, in a game played in Birmingham.
Le’Bryan Nash had 17 points and J.P. Olukemi had 12 for the Cowboys (6-5), who shot just 32.7 percent in losing their third straight.
Alabama (9-3) was playing without SEC first-team forward and leading scorer JaMychal Green, who was out with a shoulder injury. The senior was averaging 15.9 points on 56 percent shooting and 7.0 rebounds.
But Releford took over, shooting 7 of 10 and added six rebounds, four steals and three assists. Tony Mitchell scored 11 of his 16 in the first 10 minutes and added 11 rebounds and four blocks.
The win was a much-needed effort for Alabama, which was ranked as high as No. 12 by winning its first seven games before losing three of its last four to fall out of the rankings.
The Tide was coming off a 71-58 loss to another Big-12 foe, Kansas State, Saturday, but got off to a fast start in this contest without Green. They scored 16 of the first 18 points, pushed the edge to 33-14 with seven minutes left and led 40-22 at the break.
The Cowboys cut into the lead in the second half, pulling within 56-47 with 5:40 left on a 3-pointer by Cezar Guerrero, but the Tide pulled away.