Alabama Men’s Basketball Defeats Alabama-Huntsville, 74-65, in Exhibition Game
The Alabama men's basketball program won its exhibition game against Alabama-Huntsville, 74-65, on Friday night in Coleman Coliseum. Sophomore Daniel Giddens led the charge for the Tide as four players scored double-digit points.
Giddens was joined by freshmen Herbert Jones and John Petty who each scored 14 along with junior Avery Johnson Jr. who put up 10. The Crimson Tide used a decisive 14-3 run at the 9:46 mark in the second half to turn a 49-47 deficit into a 61-52 lead with 5:55 to play. The Chargers never came closer than five points over the final five minutes.
The Tide played without Braxton Key, Riley Norris, Collin Sexton and Ar’Mond Davis, who were all sidelined for Monday’s contest.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Alabama-Huntsville,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “What a great game that they played. I'm really proud of the effort that our guys showed, especially in the second half, but again I want to congratulate Alabama-Huntsville for coming out and just playing some great basketball, passing the ball, cutting, moving, and diving on the floor. We were a little bit of a step behind in the first half, but we kicked it in gear late in the game.”
With four of its regulars sidelined, Alabama started slowly, trailing 10-1 before the first timeout was called with 16:32 on the clock. The Chargers tacked on four more points to string together a 14-0 run over the first 4:49 before freshman Alex Reese hit the three-pointer to give the Tide its first field goal of the game.
Alabama was able to respond and tied the game at 25-25, before UAH sparked a 16-8 run over 6:53 to take a 34-27 lead with 2:40 left in the half. The Tide answered again, this time with a 6-1 spurt over the final minutes to cut the lead to two points, 35-33, at halftime. The Tide shot just 35 percent from the field in the opening stanza, but held a slim lead over the Chargers in the rebounding battle, 22-21.
Alabama opened up the second half hot, scoring the first six points to make it a 12-1 run over a total of 6:38 that spanned the halftime to take a 39-35 lead. The Tide’s advantage did not last long, as the Chargers added five points in 22 seconds to regain the 40-39 lead. Neither team led by more than two points for the next eight minutes.
With 9:46 to play, the Crimson Tide used a decisive 14-3 run to turn a 47-49 deficit to a 61-52 lead with 5:55 to play. Alabama fared much better from the field in the second half, shooting 53 percent while holding the Chargers to 34 percent.
The Tide continued to hold on to its lead as the teams traded buckets down the stretch, but the Chargers would never get closer than five points over the final five minutes of the contest.
The Crimson Tide dominated down low, grabbing 50 rebounds compared to 35 by UAH, and outscored the Chargers 46-23 in the paint. The Tide defense recorded 14 steals while scoring 26 points off 20 forced turnovers.
Alabama-Huntsville was led by Justin Ward who put up 29 points to lead all scorers while going 10-of-20 from the field.
Alabama opens the 2017-18 season on the road at the Veterans Classic in Annapolis, Md., and will face Memphis on Friday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m. CT. The Tide’s season opener will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.