Alabama Men’s Basketball Prevail 81-73 Over the Appalachian State Mountaineers
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men's basketball program won its second game of the season, defeating visiting Appalachian State, 81-73, Sunday night in Coleman Coliseum. Freshman guard Kira Lewis Jr. led four Crimson Tide players in double figures as he set a personal high with 21 points in the contest, which was the first non-bracketed game in the Charleston Classic.
Senior forward Donta Hall recorded his first double-double of the season, and sixth of his career, with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore John Petty added 13 points with fellow sophomore Herbert Jones adding 10 of his own. After missing the season opener with an ankle injury, junior guard Dazon Ingram had a strong showing off the bench in his first game of the year, finishing with eight points and eight rebounds.
“We had lots of highs and lows with this game tonight,” head coach Avery Johnson said. “I think we showed some signs of maturity. I don’t know if we would have won this game last year. We struggled it certain areas but we didn’t allow it to affect us, especially on the defensive end. In the second half, we still made some plays defensively. Appalachian State is a really good team. They’re going to make some noise this year. But I am proud of our guys. We’ll just keep moving on, get back to the drawing board and see how we can continue to get better.”
The Tide played without Riley Norris and Javian Davis-Fleming who were sidelined for Sunday’s contest.
The game was close right out of the gate with Alabama (2-0) able to take a 13-6 lead thanks to a quick 6-0 run with 15:56 left in the half. The two teams exchanged baskets until Alabama was able to use a 10-0 run to lead 29-22 with 5:05 left in the half. The Mountaineers would continue to fight the rest of the half, outscoring the Tide 16-6 over the final five minutes to take a 38-35 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Mountaineers (1-1) were able to come out strong and take an early lead off consistent shooting. With 12:04 remaining, Appalachian State took its largest lead of the game, 56-50.
However, from there it was all Alabama. The Crimson Tide polished off a quick 14-3 run to take a 64-57 lead with 7:32 in the half. The Tide continued to roll by scoring seven of the next nine points to make it a 21-5 run overall which turned the six-point deficit into a 71-61 Alabama lead with 3:56 remaining in regulation. Alabama was able to make its free throws down the stretch to seal its second win of the season.
Alabama was active on the boards collecting 21 offensive rebounds in the contest. Quick hands also led to nine steals for the Tide with Herbert Jones collecting four of them. The Crimson Tide were constantly pressuring on the defensive end and forced 22 turnovers on the Mountaineers, which resulted in a 26-12 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Crimson Tide will continue play in the Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C., when it takes on Northeastern at 1 p.m. CT on Thursday afternoon on ESPNU.