Alabama Basketball Dismantles Liberty For Second Win Of Season
The No. 20 Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Liberty Flames 95-59 on Friday night to earn its second victory of the season.
The offense found its footing in the second game, shooting an efficient 27-of-52 on the night, including 10-of-22 from the three-point line. A drastic change from the feeble 3-of-28 three-point shooting performance in the season opener.
Transfer guard Mark Sears led all scorers with 22 points, 15 of those coming in the second half, and added 8 rebounds as well. Freshmen Brandon Miller and Rylan Griffen also impressed, scoring 20 and 16 points, respectively.
“We got going pretty early, and maintained energy early,” said Miller. The freshman forward scored the first bucket for the Tide and led the team in three-point baskets with four in the game.
Although a dominant victory, the Crimson Tide once again committed more turnovers than its opponent, turning the ball over 15 times in total.
One positive that carried over from the opener was the intensity on both sides of the ball. Alabama held Liberty to just 25% shooting from the field in the second half, all while totaling six blocks and grabbing 12 offensive rebounds as a team.
One performance that did not go under the radar was the play from Nimari Burnett, who was tasked with primarily guarding the Flames’ top scorer Darius McGhee. McGhee, who averaged 25 points last season and scored 17 in the team’s opener, was held to just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.
“Nimari’s got length,” said Alabama head coach Nate Oats. “He’s got a 6’10 wingspan. He’s a high IQ guy, and plays hard… We did a pretty good job with (McGhee).”
Offensively, that intensity translated into drives inside and getting to the free-throw line at will. Alabama shot 31-of-38 from the free-throw line, compared to the 15-of-20 that Liberty shot.
The Crimson Tide heads to Mobile, Ala. on Tuesday to take on the South Alabama Jaguars for the first road game of the season. That game will be played at 9 p.m. CST and can be seen on ESPNU.