TUSCALOOSA, Ala.—Oakland opened its season with a 74-57 loss to No. 19 Alabama on Monday night.
Although Reggie Hamilton scored 16 points in the first half, Oakland coach Greg Kampe was disappointed in the star guard's play.
A preseason mid-major All-America who averaged 17.6 points and 5.3 assists last season, Hamilton didn't score in the second half.
"I think I stopped him," Kampe said. "I was very angry with him at halftime. I think he played a terrible first half. I thought he lost purpose out there and it became more of a battle for him to score than it was Oakland trying to score.
"He tried to take over. You can't go one-on-one, especially against a great defensive team. I got on him really hard at halftime. He probably would have had 25 or 30 if I continued to let him play that way, but that's not the way we play.
"We had people open and he turned it down. I thought what he wanted to do was he wanted to win the game so bad that he wanted to win it by himself. The way he was playing hurt the team."
Drew Valentine had 11 points and Laval Lucas-Perry 10 points for the Golden Grizzlies. Corey Petros had seven rebounds.
Travis Bader, who finished ninth in the country in 3-point percentage (.443) with 94 3s last season, only made one of five from long range and finished with nine points.
The Golden Grizzlies only made four of their 18 3-point attempts but extended their streak of making at least one 3-pointer in 701 consecutive games, the seventh-longest streak in the country.
Alabama coach Anthony Grant thought his 16th-ranked Crimson Tide were a different team in the second half.
"We played with great focus and great intensity, especially in the second half," Grant said. "Offensively we got in a better flow tonight. The guys understood their jobs more, of what we're trying to do from an offensive standpoint."
JaMychal Green scored 18 points to lead Alabama while Trevor Releford added 14 points for the Crimson Tide (2-0) and Tony Mitchell had 12 and Trevor Lacey 10. Mitchell had nine rebounds and four assists.
Grant praised the play of Lacey and fellow freshmen Levi Randolph, Rodney Cooper and Nick Jacobs.
"In the second half the freshmen had an impact on the defensive end. Those guys impacted the game when they were on the floor," Grant said.
Alabama won its 22nd straight game at Coleman Coliseum, the sixth-longest home winning streak in the nation.
With the score tied 13-13 at the 14:45 mark, Alabama went on a 28-15 run to make it 41-28 on a layup by Green with 34 seconds left in the first half. A steal and a layup by Valentine just before the buzzer made it 41-30.
Releford with 12 points , Green with 11 and Mitchell with 10 were all in double figures in the first half for the Crimson Tide, more than offsetting the 16 points scored by Hamilton.
Alabama scored eight of the first 12 points of the second half to extend the lead to 49-34. The Golden Grizzlies scored seven straight points to cut the lead to 49-41, but the Crimson Tide responded with a 19-4 run to push the lead to 68-45 on a field goal by Cooper with 6:40 to go.
"Anytime there's a big play it brings a lot of energy to the team," stated Randolph, a freshman.
"That dunk sparked the team," stated Releford.
Although he was pleased with the win, Grant wanted to keep things in perspective, especially since the Crimson Tide will be playing Maryland, which he called one of the more storied programs in the nation, on Nov. 17 in the San Juan Shoot-out in Puerto Rico.
"This is only one game. I thought our guys played well tonight, but they haven't even scratched the surface of how good they can be," he said. "We've got to keep it in perspective and take one game at a time. Every game for us will be a measuring stick."
Green left the game with about 10 minutes to go with what Grant said was an hyper-extended elbow.
"If we would have needed to put him back in (the game), I think he could have gone back in," Grant said.