Stuart McNair

Freshman Braxton Key leads Alabama in scoring in second start

Alabama basketball will be on road for next two games

Avery Johnson hasn’t been a college head coach for much over a year, but he’s learned how to pick an opponent when he wants to get his team jump-started. After a 3-2 start to the season and games that did not please Johnson, Charleston Southern was just the opponent for a decisive win.

The Crimson Tide cruised to a 76-46 win over the Buccaneers Tuesday night in Coleman Coliseum

Bama improved to 4-2, while the Bucs fell to 3-3.

Alabama goes back on the road for its next two games, sandwiched around final examinations at The University. Bama will be at Texas Friday for an 8:30 p.m. CST game televised by ESPNU. Following that the Tide will be back in action at Oregon on Dec. 11. Alabama’s next appearance in Coleman Coliseum will be Dec. 15 against South Carolina Upstate.

Freshman Braxton Key, making his second start, led the Tide in scoring with 14 points and was also tops with 6 rebounds. Avery Johnson, Jr., scored 11 off the bench and Ar’Mond Davis had 10 in reserve play.

Alabama hit 26-57 (45.6 per cent) from the field, 9-25 (36 per cent) on three-point shots, and 15-25 (60 per cent) on free throws. Charleston Southern, led by Armel Potter with 12 points, hit 17-50 from the field (34 per cent), 5-18 on treys (27.8 per cent), and 7-13 on fouls shots (53.8 per cent).

Alabama had a 41-32 advantage in rebounding and outscored the Bucs 11-4 on second chance points. Bama had a 30/-18 advantage on scoring in the paint. Bama forced 22 turnovers (to 13 for the Tide) and had a 28-8 advantage in scoring off turnovers. Bama also had a 14-2 margin on fast break points and, has been the case this season, a 46-20 advantage in points from the bench.

It was evident early on that Alabama was going to have a fairly easy time of it. Key hit back-to-back thee-pointers on the Tide’s first possession and it was 10-0 before Charleston Southern got on the board.

Alabama had the lead tripled on several occasions, the last at 36-12 with just over three minutes to play in the first half.

Ar’Mond Davis’s three-point shot with 11 seconds remaining made it a 25-point game at halftime, Bama leading 40-15. Although the second half was more competitive with Bama substituting heavily, Charleston Southern never got closer than that 25.

The Tide had hit 14-29 from the field (48.3 per cent) while holding the Buccaneers to 6-25 (24 per cent). The Tide had a 24-14 advantgage in rebounds and had forced 11 turnovers, while Bama had only 5.

TIDE NOTES: Although there were several announcements that a tornado watch (conditions right for a tornado) had been issued for Tuscaloosa County, it did not seem to have any effect on the relatively sparse crowd.

Nick King got his first start at Alabama. The transfer from Memphis, who sat out last year, was joined in the starting lineup by Corban Collins, Jimmie Taylor, Dazon Ingram, and Braxton Key.

Riley Norris did not start for the first time this year.

The Fan Favorite, soph walk-on Lawson Schaffer, lived up to his billing in the final moments with a fine save of a ball going out of bounds, followed by a monster three-point shot for the final points of the game.

This year’s Bama’s basketball team could be in the South Carolina State Conference, were there such a thing. The Tide has already played Coastal Carolina (winning 70-53) and Charleston Southern and has games coming up against South Carolina Upstate, Clemson, and South Carolina.

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Alabama is now 3-0 against Charleston Southern.

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