Alabama Uses Treys For 105-93 Win

Coming off a 32-point road loss at Dayton, Avery Johnson and his Alabama basketball team were looking for positives against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Friday night. After a 105-93 Bama victory, Johnson found a few things to smile about. At least three, as in 3-pointers, as his team made 15-of-25 behind the arc, a blistering 60 per cent.

“Our young team; they try hard,” Johnson said. “We’re excited about this game tonight on a lot of different levels. We had a great team game, offensively. I’m proud of the way our guys came out and bounced back tonight. For us to come and score over 100 points after struggling on the road, that says a lot about our team.

“They played together today. It was just fun to watch us offensively.”

Alabama made a bunch of shots,” said Louisiana Coach Bob Marlin. “It was frustrating. Their team played well, and I thought they were the better team tonight. It seemed like when we would make a push... They came right back and made a push of their own.

“I don’t think they’ll shoot it like that consistently all year, but they certainly did tonight.”

The story behind the 3-point barrage?

“Just a higher level of concentration, and it’s all about getting in game shape,” Johnson said. “For us, it’s just about getting in the rhythm and confidence. We did a lot of drills, and put a lot of pressure on them in taking and making shots.”

Alabama placed six men in double figures led by 18 each from Shannon Hale, Riley Norris and Justin Coleman. Retin Obasohan scored 17, and freshman Dazon Ingram had 10 points, seven boards and five assists. Coleman led all passers with eight assists.

“Justin gives us an extra ball-handler and an extra shot maker, “said Johnson. “I told him to continue to shoot, and if he was covered, put it on the floor and get his teammate a shot. “

“We just went out there, played our best, played hard and played as a team,” said Coleman. “When Coach (Johnson) got here, he taught me a lot as a point guard. I’ve learned a lot about running my team, and getting them good shots.

“It’s big time. Scoring 100 points is a big-time accomplishment.”

Norris said, “We had two great practices (since Dayton), and I thought our team played unselfish tonight.

“We got a lot of shots up at practice.”

Louisiana’s Shawn Long was the game’s top scorer and rebounder with 25 and 14.

After a first half featuring one tie and two lead changes, Bama headed to the locker room up 55-39.

“I’m not amazed, because I know we’re capable of (scoring),” Johnson said. “We did a better job of substituting, looking at three and four-man rotations.

“Let's face it guys, we don't have a 30-point scorer. ... For us to be competitive, we must (score) as a team."

There were areas for improvement, though. “Too many silly fouls,” Johnson noted. “That’ll give me some context to teach on when we watch film Monday.

“We want to play a fun brand of basketball. Hopefully word will spread, and the (11,465 paid) fans will go out and recruit ten friends apiece. We’ve got a pretty good product we’re putting out on the floor.”

NOTES: The last time Alabama scored 100 points in a game was November 18, 2013 when it beat Stillman, 102-65… The 105 points by the Tide were the most since a 114-77 win over East Tennessee State (12/1/04)… Alabama made 15 three-pointers against ULL, the most since they hit a school record 19 against East Tennessee State in that same contest 11 years ago.

Johnson said he moved Wednesday’s practice to the team’s gym away from the main floor because he had some things to say after the Dayton blowout that “were not PG.” He didn’t want observers at the main floor of Coleman to hear that type of rhetoric.

Johnson started the same lineup for the third straight game as Obasohan and Ingram manned the back court, with Hale, Jmmie Taylor, and Edwards up front. Norris served as sixth man.

Taylor had nine points, but did not grab a rebound against the larger Long.

The Louisiana bench had a number of faces familiar to Alabama basketball fans, including Head Coach Marlin, assistant Mike Murphy, and Ned Hardin. Marlin and Murphy were on then Coach David Hobbs’ Tide staff in the 1990s, and Hardin was a graduate assistant then. Murphy also served as an assistant coach for the Tide women’s team from 1998-2002

Alabama (2-1) will be back in action at 11.a.m. CST Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, in Orlando as part of the Advocare Invitational, with ESPN-2 set to televise.


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