Home News Local news Emotional Alabama and Fiery Xavier-Villanova Games Thrill Fans at Paradise Jam

Emotional Alabama and Fiery Xavier-Villanova Games Thrill Fans at Paradise Jam

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Nov. 19, 2006 — The emotional return of Alabama starting center Jermareo Davidson and deafening cheers from Xavier and Villanova fans marked an exciting third night of the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Sunday night.
–Alabama 72, Iowa 60–
Davidson missed Alabama's 71-62 win over Middle Tennessee State on Friday, remaining on the mainland to mourn his girlfriend, who died in a car wreck last week.
His return Sunday energized the Crimson Tide, contributing to a 72-60 victory over Iowa.
"It didn't really affect my game," Davidson said outside the locker room. "It's just a matter of getting back in the rhythm."
Alonzo Gee led 10th-ranked Alabama with 21 points and six rebounds. Ronald Steele added 18 points, six assists and four rebounds.
"We played with a lot more emotion," Steele said of Davidson. "That was kind of the lift we needed."
Davidson said his old habit of tapping his heart before foul shots was now in memory of his girlfriend. The center helped Alabama dominate in the paint with 15 points, 11 rebounds, four block and four assists.
Richard Hendrix, a forward, scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Falling on his back at the top of the key, Davidson lobbed an alley-oop jammed down by Hendrix early in the second half. On the next play, Davidson blocked a jumper by Cyrus Tate.
"He played great," coach Mark Gottfried said of Davidson. "He played with a lot of heart."
Tyler Smith led Iowa with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. Tony Freeman added 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. Gee made two consecutive steals for breakaway jams in the closing minutes of the first half.
–Xavier 71, Villanova 66–
Stanly Burrell and Xavier led a roaring UVI Sports and Fitness Center on a wild win over Villanova.
Burrell scored 26 points for Xavier, dishing out four assists and snatching three steals. Justin Doellman added nine points and eight rebounds.
Curtis Sumpter and Shane Clark had 17 points each for Villanova (2-1). The lead changed 13 times, with eight ties.
With Villanova down 66-68 with 15 seconds left, Sumpter's 15-foot jumper got tipped and Dante Cunningham was fouled grabbing the ball, one of his eight rebounds. Cunningham made one of two foul shots.
Villanova's Mike Nardi missed a three-point attempt and fouled Burrell with 0.9 seconds left. Burrell made both foul shots to put the game out of reach.
Xavier plays Alabama in the championship game of the eight-team tournament Monday. Villanova plays Iowa in the consolation game.
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