TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama’s basketball team won by a lot, the other team’s coach got thrown out of the game, and a Tide walk-on played so well at the end the students chanted his name.
Alabama beat Lamar 75-47 on Tuesday night in what was a reasonably close game until Lamar coach Pat Knight received two quick technical fouls two minutes into the second half.
After getting the first technical after protesting the rough play, Knight argued fiercely, with his assistant coaches holding him back. That got him a second technical and a trip to the locker room, where he said he was bored and talked on the phone to his wife, a friend in Florida and his dad. He is the son of coaching legend Bobby Knight.
“The physical play, the calls need to be called,” said Knight, whose team is now 1-6. “I didn’t earn the first one. I made sure I earned the second one. I got my money’s worth.”
The Tide led only 36-29 at the time, but Knight’s ejection seemed to breathe some life into the Coleman Coliseum crowd, which was listed at 10,436 but seemed a lot less.
“In the second half, we were much better,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “Defensively, we were locked in.”
Two regulars in the playing rotation didn’t appear in Tuesday’s game for Alabama (6-0). Leading scorer Trevor Releford missed the game because of flu-like symptoms, while reserve guard Andrew Steele aggrevated a groin injury.
That opened the door for sophomore walk-on Dakota Slaughter, a 6-foot-6 forward who got 10 minutes on the floor and scored the first 10 points of his college career. He joined the team last year after going through an open tryout.
“He brings it every day in practice,” Grant said. “Our team trusts and believes in him. He did what we see him do in practice on a daily basis. With 10 scholarship guys, we’re going to need him in spots this year.”
Slaughter made four of his five shots, including a 3-pointer. When he made a driving layup near the end, about a half-dozen students chanted “Slaughter, Slaughter, Slaughter.”
Rodney Cooper, who missed the Friday’s win over Charleston Southern with shoulder tendonitis, came off the bench Tuesday. He finished with a team-high 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists and said afterward the shoulder felt fine. Freshman point guard Retin Obasohan, making his first career start in place of Releford, had 13 points and three steals.