The game stayed tight for about the first nine minutes of the second half, but with Alabama up 44-39, the Crimson Tide scored 13 of the next 15 points to swell its lead to 57-41 with just under five minutes left in the contest. Alabama coasted from there behind the solid play of Avery Johnson Jr., Jimmie Taylor, Dazon Ingram and others.
SITE: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, AL
RECORDS: Alabama 6-5, Arkansas State 9-3
KEY STARS FOR THE TIDE: Senior Taylor led the Crimson Tide with 12 points, and added four boards while freshman Braxton Key added 11, Ingram 10 and Hale nine. Donta Hall had three blocks and Riley Norris had six points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Crimson Tide basketball team romps past Red Wolves in Huntsville (Courtesy of Crimson Magazine)
THE SCORE: Alabama 67, Arkansas State 52: The Crimson Tide survived a challenge from the gritty Red Wolves in the Rocket City Classic to get over the .500 mark once again. The Tide was sloppy with turnovers in the early going, and with Alabama holding a slim 11-9 lead following a trey from Ar'Mond Davis, the Red Wolves used a 7-0 lead to grab the 16-11 advantage. But with the Tide down 18-13, Shannon Hale led an 8-0 UA run to put Avery Johnson's team up 21-18. At halftime the Tide was up 31-26.
GOOD NUMBERS: The Crimson Tide had 10 players get into the scoring column on Wednesday. Alabama held Arkansas State to 37 percent shooting for the game. Alabama tallied seven blocks.
NOT SO GOOD NUMBERS: Alabama shot 37 percent from the field in the first half, including 33 percent from 3-point territory. The Tide hit 13 of its 22 free throw attempts. Arkansas State outrebounded the Tide 37-34
COACH SPEAK: "I thought we did a great job defensively and we were very competitive tonight,” Johnson said. “This is the first game we’ve had since I’ve been here that a team didn’t make a three on us in the first half. We gave up a couple of long rebounds but I really liked our flow defensively. Offensively, you saw us trying to run a little more. We simplified a couple of things, so we have something to build on. That’s a really good team that’s been scoring a lot of points. I’m really proud of our guys tonight.”
NEXT UP FOR THE TIDE: Alabama will be back in action on Thursday, Dec. 29, when it returns to Coleman Coliseum to host Stetson in a game that is set to broadcast on the SEC Network+ at 7 p.m. CT.
Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications