Stuart McNair

Alabama closed out non-conference basketball play with big numbers

Alabama begins SEC basketball Tuesday at Mississippi State

The Alabama men’s basketball team closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule Thursday with an 83-60 win over Stetson as the Crimson Tide set season highs in points, assists (18), and rebounds (53), and had a number of individual benchmarks.

Freshman guard Dazon Ingram recorded his first career double-double as he matched his career high with 16 points and set a career-best mark with 10 rebounds as he collected the first double-double by a Tide player this season.

 Junior Riley Norris, who had been in a shooting slump, had a season-high 18 points, while senior Bola Olaniyan led the Tide with a season-best 13 rebounds – eight of them offensive boards. Sophomore guard Avery Johnson, Jr., who collected a game-high six assists, and freshman Braxton Key each recorded 10 points to give Alabama four players in double figures.

The Tide closed out non-conference play with a 7-5 record.

The Tide will begin Southeastern Conference play on Tuesday in Starkville against Mississippi State.

Alabama Coach Avery Johnson said following Thursday’s win in Coleman Coliseum – only Bama’s second game in Tuscaloosa in December – that he was “really proud of our guys tonight against a really good, well-coached Stetson team. We did a good job of protecting our home court by rebounding and paying attention to detail.

“We still have to continue to defend our three-point line a little bit better. After somewhat of a sloppy first half, I like the way our guys turned it on in the second half. I’m proud of our guys; they’ve been practicing hard.”

 Trailing 10-9 early in the game, the Tide used a 20-5 run over a span of 8:39 in the first half to take control of the contest with a 29-15 lead. During the run, Alabama held Stetson (6-9) scoreless for just under five minutes. The Tide defense blocked four shots in the first half and held the Hatters to just 34 percent from the field.

Stetson used a 12-2 run late in the opening half to close the gap to seven points at intermission, 36-29. The Tide outrebounded the Hatters 25-12 over the opening 20 minutes of play and owned an 18-8 edge on points in the paint.

Alabaman broke the game open to start the second half with a 15-1 run in the opening five minutes. The Hatters never got any closer than 19 points the rest of the way. The Tide extended its lead to as much as 25 with an 83-58 lead inside the final minute.

96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Alabama nearly doubled Stetson on the boards, owning a 53-27 rebounding advantage, including a 21-9 edge on the offensive glass. The Tide also had a big advantage over Stetson in points in the paint, outscoring the Hatters, 46-24. Alabama finished with seven blocks and nine steals.    

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