Four Players Reach Double Figures as Alabama Hangs on to Beat Wichita State, 90-86, in Charleston Classic
The Alabama men's basketball team used clutch baskets and solid free throw shooting to hang on and defeat Wichita State, 90-86, Sunday afternoon in the Charleston Classic fifth-place game, which was played in TD Arena on the campus of the College of Charleston.
Freshman Kira Lewis Jr. led Alabama with a season-best 24 points, including knocking down a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line, to lead the Crimson Tide. Sophomore Alex Reese also posted a new career high with 19 points in 15 minutes of action off the bench. Sophomores John Petty Jr. and Herbert Jones each added 13 points in the victory.
In addition to the individual performances, Alabama came up clutch at the foul line, converting 31-of-33 (93.9 percent) from the charity stripe for the game, which included knocking down 23-of-24 (95.8 percent) in the second half alone.
“Wow, what an awesome win for our program, especially with the way it happened,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “We always talk about responding to adversity. We set the tone early in the game and then (Wichita State) responded in the second half that put us under some high-level adversity, but our guys were able to respond and finish the game strong. Give credit to Wichita State. They are a tough, hard-nosed team, but we talked about competing before the game. We knew we were going to have to compete harder than we’ve competed in every game we have played this season in order to be successful. That’s exactly what our guys did.”
The Crimson Tide (4-1) stormed out of the gates on a roll, using a 12-0 spurt paired with strong defense to take control of the game early on. UA shot nearly 60 percent (16-of-27) from the floor and 41 percent (9-of-19) from deep through the opening 20 minutes of play to take a 46-34 lead at intermission.
Wichita State (2-3) responded with stellar shooting to come back and even the score at 69-69 with just under eight minutes remaining in the second half. However, Lewis and Reese answered with back-to-back three-pointers to give the Tide a 75-71 advantage with 5:16 left to play. From there, Alabama knocked down 13 of its final 14 free throws to hang on for the four-point victory.
The Tide finished the contest shooting 51.0 percent (25-of-49) from the field and 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from beyond the arc, while holding the Shockers to 46.8 percent (29-of-62) from the floor and just 26.1 percent (6-of-23) from deep. Junior Dazon Ingram also had a solid game, coming off the bench to finish with eight points, five assists and four rebounds.
The Crimson Tide will return to action next week on Monday, Nov. 26, when it hosts Murray State at 7 p.m. CT in Coleman Coliseum. The game will be televised on SEC Network+.
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