Georgia Tech forward Julian Royal (1) and Alabama guard Andrew Steele fight for a loose ball in the second half of the Tide’s 25-point rout Tuesday in Atlanta.
ATLANTA — JaMychal Green appears recovered from a right shoulder injury, and Alabama got another big boost with the return of Andrew Steele for the first time this season.
So with the SEC schedule beginning in four days, the Crimson Tide look ready to roll.
“I was proud of our guys (Tuesday night),” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “I thought we came out and played with great energy. It was a very good win for our team in the last non-conference game before we head into SEC play.”
Trevor Releford scored 17 points, Tony Mitchell added 14 and Alabama coasted to a 73-48 victory against Georgia Tech late Tuesday night.
Green, a first-team All-SEC forward, finished with nine points and five rebounds in 22 minutes for the Crimson Tide (11-3). Green did not start, but played for the first time since injuring his right shoulder in a Dec. 17 loss to Kansas State.
Alabama, which has won three straight and four of five, opens its SEC schedule Saturday at Georgia. The Tide won the league's Western Division last year before finishing 2010-11 as an NIT finalist.
Kammeon Holsey finished with 14 points for Georgia Tech (7-7), which has lost three straight. The Yellow Jackets dropped to 0-2 at Philips Arena, where they will host No. 5 Duke in both schools' ACC opener Saturday.
First-year Yellow Jackets coach Brian Gregory did not start Glen Rice Jr., who went scoreless in a 72-66 loss at Fordham last week and was suspended three games to begin the season after breaking a team rule. Rice finished with five points and went 2 of 7 from the field.
Rice wasn't the only player to struggle. Starting center Daniel Miller, who was averaging 9 points per game before tipoff, went scoreless, missing four shots from the field.
Julian Royal added 10 points for Georgia Tech, which ranks No. 235 in assists-to-turnover ratio and committed 22 turnovers with 12 assists. The Jackets hit just four of 12 free-throw attempts.
It doesn’t get easier with Duke up next.
“The thing is it's going to be a test of the character of the guys because if you're judging the progress by a win or a loss or whatever the case might be, then it's going to be tough,” Gregory said. “We have to keep getting better. We have to fight harder than we fought (Tuesday). We have to play for 40 minutes.”
TEMPLE SHOCKS NO. 3 DUKE:Khalif Wyatt scored 22 points and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson had 17 to help Temple knock off No. 5 Duke, 78-73, on Wednesday night.
Using tough man-to-man defense that limited Duke’s long-range shots, the Owls (10-3) grabbed the lead midway through the first half and never let it go. When the Blue Devils (12-2) crept within three points in the waning minutes, Wyatt hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 66-57 lead.
The Owls had lost nine straight times to Duke, and hadn’t beat the Blue Devils since Jan. 25, 1996. This decisive win in front of more than 20,000 fans gave the Owls wins over Top 10 teams for the fourth straight season, all in Philadelphia.
SEMINOLES ROCK AUBURN:Michael Snaer scored a career-high 22 points — going 10 of 10 from the free-throw line — and Ian Miller added 15 points as Florida State routed Auburn, 85-56, on Wednesday night.
Snaer had 14 points in the first half as the Seminoles (9-5) grabbed a 50-16 halftime lead. It was a stunning reversal of fortune for Florida State, which trailed by 17 points at the half in Friday's triple-overtime loss to Princeton.
Xavier Gibson also scored 12 points for the Seminoles, who scored a season-high 85 points.
Florida State made 22 of 26 shots from the line and outrebounded Auburn 45-30.
TINY MURRAY STATE REMAINS ONE OF FOUR UNBEATENS:Donte Poole scored 22 points and Isaiah Canaan added 16 — including the 1,000th of his career — and No. 19 Murray State remained unbeaten — one of just four teams in the nation still perfect — with a 76-67 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday night.
The Racers (15-0, 3-0 Ohio Valley Conference) are one win from matching the school's all-time best start set in 1935-36. But to get there they had to hold off a furious rally by the Colonels.
The Colonels trailed by as many as 15 points, but came within one with just under 5 minutes to go before falling for the seventh straight time in the series.
Missouri, Syracuse and Baylor are the other three unbeatens.