CSU plays tough against Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, ALA - Charleston Southern led by as many as eight in the first half and held Alabama to 35 percent shooting but shot just 33 percent and struggled against the Crimson Tide's pressure defense in a 59-45 loss at Coleman Coliseum on Saturday night.
CSU (3-5) was led by 15 points from junior Saah Nimley and a career-high 15 rebounds from junior Paul Gombwer as the Bucs held their own on the glass against the bigger Crimson Tide.
Alabama (5-4) sophomore Retin Obasohan paced head coach Anthony Grant's team with a career-best 22 points, while junior Rodney Cooper added 16.
"Alabama showed a lot of courage tonight," CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh said. "I have a lot of admiration for Coach Anthony Grant. He is one of the good ones in our profession. He has tremendous class. This is the second time that we have been able to compete against his team and it's going to make us better. I thought Alabama played with a lot of grit and toughness."
Nimley hit a three-pointer to pull the Bucs within 33-32 at the 11:20 mark of the second half, but the Tide countered with eight quick points to stretch their advantage for good. Cooper knocked down two key triples to start the spurt, and added another to give Alabama a 44-34 lead with 7:36 remaining.
"I thought it was a real tough game both ways," Nimley said. "I think the score doesn't show how close it actually was. I think they played well without (Trevor) Releford. We battled and had chances to take the lead a couple of times and didn't capitalize. It happens. It was a tough road game so we just have to get ready for the next one."
The Bucs return to action this Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Western Carolina. Tipoff in Cullowhee, N.C. is set for 7 p.m.