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Alabama knocks Toledo out 79-69

Rod Grizzard had 22 points and a career-high 12 rebounds Tuesday night to lead Alabama to a 79-69 victory over Toledo in the second round of the NIT.

The Crimson Tide, an NIT semifinalist in 1996, plays Purdue, which beat Auburn, later this week for a return trip to New York.

Toledo, which had won its previous three games despite trailing at the half, cut a 20-point deficit to 66-56 with 6:55 left as Nick Moore hit a pair of three-pointers and Greg Stempin scored on an alley-oop from Rory Jones.

But Toledo couldn't pull any closer to an Alabama team that had seen a 21-point lead cut to three in the final 9:28 of a first-round win over Seton Hall.

Doc Martin and Travis Stinnett both hit three-pointers to key an 8-1 run and rebuild Alabama's lead to 74-57.

The Tide shot 47 percent from the floor to Toledo's 40 percent, and Alabama dominated the boards 42-32.

The Rockets had not given up more than 70 points in their past 13 games.

Gerald Wallace had 11 of his 13 points in the first half for Alabama. Stinnett added 11 points, Erwin Dudley 10.

Stempin closed out an impressive Toledo career with 17 points and eight boards but was only 7-of-18 from the floor. The three-time All-Mid-American Conference performer finished as the Rockets' No. 3 career scorer.

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