The Crimson Tide defeated Georgia State 75-58 in the quarterfinals of the NIT Season Tip Off on Tuesday. The Tide will face Duke in the semifinals Nov. 27 in New York. Tipoff is will be determined later.
“Defensively, we really set the tone in the first half,” Tide coach Anthony Grant said. “For us, it was more about establishing the style of play we wanted the game to be played at.”
Senior point guard Trevor Releford led the team 19 points and six rebounds. Levi Randolph also chipped in 10 points and grabbed six boards.
But it was Retin Obasohan who provided most of the highlight plays. Obasohan scored 18 points, had four rebounds, four steals and three blocks.
He was always around the ball defensively, chasing down Georgia State players on fast breaks and denying them easy baskets. He also converted layups and rim-shaking dunks to get the Coleman Coliseum crowd of 9,527 excited.
“I have to give a lot of credit to our coaching staff and my teammates,” Obasohan said. “Since the end of last season, they emphasized that I had to step up my game to help the team. It helped me build my confidence and develop my game.”
The Tide outmuscled Georgia State for a 40-24 rebounding edge and held them to 29.4 percent from 3-point range.
“I thought Alabama played really well and played like a veteran basketball team,” Georgia State coach Ron Hunter said. “They did what they needed to do and took care of the ball for the most part. It was a wake up call for our guys.”
In previous trips, the Tide played in the 2011 NIT finals when it lost to Wichita State. Last season, Alabama won two games at MSG on its way to the 2K Sports Classic title, defeating Oregon State and Villanova.
“We are looking forward to going to New York,” Releford said. “It’s a business trip, as usual, and we are just going there to get a win.”