| MBB/WBB Alabama’s Dominant Second Half Helps Take Down Stephen F. Austin, 78-68

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama will play its lone home game during the current five-week span when it welcomes the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks to Coleman Coliseum on Friday night. The Crimson Tide (3-4) and Lumberjacks (7-1) will play for a second consecutive year when the two teams tip off at 7 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.

The game vs. SFA will be the first of only five games in the month of December for the Tide. In addition to hosting the Lumberjacks, Alabama's lone other home game will come on Dec. 29 – a span of 23 days – when UA hosts Richmond. That contest will also be the final game of the month. Tonight's game comes after having to wait 17 days to play in Coleman since its last home game when it hosted Furman on Nov. 19, which means the SFA game will be the only true home game for the Tide in a span of just over five weeks between Nov. 19 and Dec. 29.

In between the Tide's two December home contests, Alabama will square off at Penn State (Dec. 14), vs. Samford (Birmingham, Ala. on Dec. 18) and vs. Belmont (Huntsville, Ala. on Dec. 21) for the remaining games of the month.

The last meeting between the Tide and Lumberjacks teams took place a year ago in Nacogdoches, Texas in front of a sold-out crowd at William R. Johnson Coliseum in what was considered the biggest home game in SFA program history. The Crimson Tide captured a hard-fought 79-69 victory over the Lumberjacks in that contest, which was the first meeting between the two teams in series history.

Promotions
  • First 1,000 fans in the building will get a free t-shirt
  • Toy Drive
    • $5 tickets with donation of unwrapped toy
  • Baby Reindeer Race
  • Big Al's Kids Club Night
    • $5 tickets for all Kids Club members
    • Photos with Santa
    • Stocking Decoration
The Broadcast
  • Friday's game will air on SEC Network+ with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Wimp Sanderson (analyst) and Meggi Hetzel (analyst) on the call.
  • The radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, Roger Hoover (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) on the call. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.
Notes You Need To Know
  • Friday night's game will feature two of the fastest-paced teams in the nation according to the latest Ken Pomeroy stats (as of 12/4). Alabama enters the contest ranked sixth in the nation in adjusted tempo (78.8) while Stephen F. Austin (76.7) checks in at No. 12 in the nation in the category. Furthermore, the Crimson Tide ranks ninth nationally in average possession length (14.5) according to KenPom.com, while the Lumberjacks rank 64th overall. Last season, head coach Nate Oats' Buffalo team finished 11th in the nation in adjusted tempo (73.6) and ranked fourth in average possession length (14.4).
  • Sophomore Kira Lewis Jr. is the only player in the SEC who averages at least 18.0 points and 4.5 assists per game entering this weekend's action. The Tide's starting point guard, who was a preseason First Team All-SEC selection, comes into the game against Stephen F. Austin averaging 19.1 points and 4.6 assists per game, which rank No. 4 and No. 9 in the SEC, respectively.
  • At last week's Battle 4 Atlantis, John Petty Jr. was the Tide's most impressive player. Averaging 33.0 minutes per game over the three games played in the event, Petty averaged 22.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 54 percent (21-of-39) from the field, 61 percent (14-of-23) from beyond the arc and 92 percent (11-of-12) from the charity stripe.
  • Most recently, the Crimson Tide closed the 2019 Battle 4 Atlantis, which was played in the Imperial Ballroom of the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas, with a 1-2 record. Alabama, which was joined by then-No. 11 Oregon and Iowa State with matching 1-2 records during the three-day event, opened with a nine-point loss to then-No. 6 North Carolina. After falling to Iowa State in the second round, the Tide captured its lone win of the event with an 83-68 victory over Southern Miss.
  • UA shot a scorching 72.7 percent from the field (16-of-22) and from beyond the arc (8-of-11) in the second half of its victory over the Golden Eagles. The Tide secured the win by knocking down eight of its final nine shots from the field. It marked the team's best half of shooting since March 21, 2011 when Alabama connected on 75.0 percent of its field goal attempts in the second half vs. New Mexico.
  • Head coach Nate Oats showed fans why his style of play is sure to be entertaining. The Crimson Tide put up 76 shots (27-of-76, 35.5 percent) in the season-opening against Penn, which is more than any game since it posted 76 shots in a triple overtime loss at LSU on Feb. 13, 2013. Furthermore, the last time an Alabama team put up 76 shots in regulation came on Dec. 4, 2004 when it had 80 field goal attempts in a 79-72 win over Charlotte.
About Alabama
  • Alabama will play the first of just two home games in the month of December when it welcomes Stephen F. Austin on Friday night to Coleman Coliseum. The Tide and Lumberjacks will play for just the second time in series history, with the first meeting coming just a year ago in Nacogdoches, Texas (Alabama claimed a 79-69 victory).
  • Three Alabama players average double figures, while six average at least 8.5 points per game through its seven contests played. Sophomore Kira Lewis Jr. tops the squad and ranks fourth in the SEC with 19.1 points per game. He leads UA and is ninth in the league with 4.6 assists, while he also tops the team in steals (1.6 spg), minutes (37.3) and field goals made (50) and attempted (107). A first-team All-SEC preseason honoree, Lewis is shooting 46.7 percent (50-of-107) from the field and 36.8 percent (14-of-38) from beyond the arc.
  • John Petty Jr. is second on the team in scoring average at 15.3 points per contest which includes four consecutive double-digit contests. The junior guard ranks second in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (45.5 percent) and leads the team in threes made (20) and rebounding (7.3 rpg) while ranking second in steals (1.3 spg) and minutes (33.4 mpg) per game.
  • Freshman Jaden Shackelford also average in double figures at 11.0 ppg. He leads the team in threes attempted as 49 of 69 field goal attempts have come from beyond the three-point line.
  • Graduate senior Beetle Bolden (8.8 ppg), redshirt freshman Javian Davis (8.6 ppg) and junior Herbert Jones (8.5 ppg) are all contributing offensively.
  • As a team, the Crimson Tide has been outrebounded only once in seven games played this year. Alabama owns a +3.1 advantage on the glass (40.3-37.1). Alabama has outscored the opposition by +0.4 points (79.6-79.1) and is shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 35.0 percent from beyond the arc and 69.9 percent from the foul line.
  • The Tide enters the contest ranked second in the league and 50th in the nation in total rebounds per game (40.3). UA also ranks second in the SEC and is 18th nationally with 10.0 threes made per game.
About Stephen F. Austin
  • Stephen F. Austin comes into Friday night's contest having won seven of its first eight contests (7-1) to start the season, with the lone defeat coming at Rutgers back on Nov. 20 (lost, 69-57). SFA pulled off what is considered the biggest upset of the college basketball season thus far when it defeated then-No. 1 Duke, 85-83, in overtime inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on Nov. 26. The win not only gave the Blue Devils its first-ever loss to a non-major team when ranked No. 1, but it also snapped the program's 150-game non-conference home winning streak.
  • SFA boasts three players who average in double figures, led by senior guard Kevon Harris who tops the team in scoring (19.4 ppg), minutes (29.6 mpg), field goals made (53) and attempted (108) and three-pointers made (14) and attempted (36). Junior forward Gavin Kensmil is second in the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg, while he also leads the Jacks in rebounding (8.4 rpg) and field goal percentage (65.2 percent). Junior forward Cameron Johnson also averages double-digits at 12.5 ppg.
  • As a team, the Lumberjacks lead the nation in steals per game (12.8) and turnovers forced per game (26.0), while shooting an efficient 50.6 percent from the field which is 16th-best in the country. SFA is knocking down 32.8 percent of its three-point attempts and is 68.9 percent from the foul line. The Jacks are outscoring the competition by an average of 18.4 points per game (85.8-67.4).
  • Head coach Kyle Keller is in his fourth season at the helm of the Lumberjacks' program. He boasts a career record of 67-39 (.632) which includes guiding Stephen F. Austin to the 2018 Southland Conference tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament birth.
For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB & AlabamaWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

 

BamaFan334

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Wow, they beat Duke and we are favored by 12?
 

mando

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Surprised we are favored since SFA went to Duke and won. Also, concerning that SFA leads the NCAA in steals. We have been a turnover machine. Will be surprised if we win this one.
 
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A season of injuries continues for Alabama’s basketball team entering a Friday night visit from Stephen F. Austin.

Two key players were limited this week in practice with lingering injuries on a roster with already limited depth. The Crimson Tide faces the team that stunned Duke last week in a 7 p.m. CT Friday game in Coleman Coliseum.

Stephen F. Austin is 7-1 after an overtime win in Durham while the Tide is 3-4.

Coach Nate Oats said forward Alex Reese has been held out of practice all week after hurting his foot in the second of three games last week in the Bahamas. He’s been in a boot and only did limited skill work Thursday.

“He’s a pretty tough kid,” Oats said, “and my guess is he’d give it a go and we’ll see how healthy he is during the game.”

Guard Beetle Bolden is also still dealing with two separate left hand/wrist injuries that includes a bone bruise.

“It’s still bothering him,” Oats said. “We tried resting him all week to try and get it to heel. He took a shot, kind of a numbing agent to help him in the three games down in the Bahamas. Obviously, it worked well because we needed him to make shots like he did against Southern Miss.”

Bolden had a season-high 23 points making 6 of 8 from 3-point range in an 83-68 win over Southern Miss. Oats said the West Virginia graduate transfer was “basically a game-to-game decision.”

Bolden is scoring 8.8 points a game while making 39.5 percent of his 3-point shots. He’s started two of the six games he’s played.

Reese was a starter in four of seven games, scoring 6.4 points a game while looking for his 3-point stroke. The junior is shooting 25 percent making 7 of 28 from the perimeter.

Alabama is already playing without star recruit Juwan Gary and JUCO transfer James Rojas, both lost to season-ending injuries before playing a single game.

Herbert Jones also missed a game with an elbow injury suffered in the season-opening loss to Penn.

“If we had a healthy Reese, a healthy Beetle, a healthy Herb … I mean, Herb’s elbow injury in a lot of other sports, he’s probably still not even playing,” Oats said. “Or if he wasn’t as tough as he is, so if we can get healthy and still win some games here in December and get on a roll going into SEC play, we’ll be alright. Right now, we’re pretty banged up still.”
 

mando

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SFA is out rebounding Bama big time especially on the offensive end. Bama is a turnover machine so business as usual.

Poor shooting night so far as well from the field and the line. Still only down 3 - 19-16 SFA with 6:59 left in the 1st half.
 

mando

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Bama up 23-21 around 3:50 minutes. SFA is turning the ball over more than bama now. Thats offsetting bamas turnovers and poor shooting.
 

mando

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Bama 32-31 at half.

Bama 11 turnovers SFA 10 turnovers.

Not sure about the rebounding but SFA has our rebounded Bama.
 

mando

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Bama 52 - 42 with 10:52 in 2nd half. D is having a good game.
 

mando

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Bama 78-68 final. Good win. Still chaotic but D was better.
 

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Excellent win. Any win is a big one for this team. I watched spots as I was out with my daughter for dinner, but I felt we played decent defense and hit some big threes. We appeared to be rebounding better. I always feel when Alex Reese is hitting a few threes we play much better, and I saw him hit a couple from three. Keep it up fellas. Roll Tide.
 

mando

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I think Reese, Lewis and Petty were the top scorers. Early on a lot of turnovers and 2nd chance points for SFA. SFA also had a lot of turnovers and was not shooting well. Bama cleaned up 2nd chance points and turnovers until the end of the game when they let SFA cut the lead from 12 to 6. They were able to push it back up to get the double digit win.

Not sure how SFA beat Duke. They were certainly not a great shooting team but maybe the Bama D had something to do with it.
 

UA Press Release

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The Crimson Tide had five players score in double-figures to lead the way


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men's basketball team used a balanced scoring attack, with five players in double-figures, to pull away from Stephen F. Austin and grab a 78-68 win on Friday night in Coleman Coliseum.

Five Alabama players out of the eight that saw action in the game finished the night scoring double-digit points led by Jaden Shackelford's 17 points, including hitting 10-of-11 from the foul line.

Alex Reese had a season-high 15 points, shooting 5-from-9 from the floor and 4-of-8 beyond the arc, also breaking a season high with the four threes made. In addition to Reese's offensive output, Kira Lewis Jr. collected 15 points shooting 6-from-9 from the field, while adding six rebounds, three assists and a career-high tying four steals, all of which were in the first 20 minutes. John Petty Jr. and Javian Davis (11) also reached double figures as the Tide (4-4) handed the Lumberjacks (7-2) just their second loss of the season. SFA's seven wins includes a defeat of then-No. 1 Duke last week in overtime.

Nate Oats Postgame Comments

"I thought it was a well-played game. I'm proud of our effort. With Reese not practicing all week and for him to come in and do what he did was big. We kind of had a talk and I told him, I don't care how may shots are missed. He's a shooter, he needs to be shooting every time he's open. It was great to see them go in. It'll help his confidence. John has been on fire lately. Three out of his last four games he's hit multiple threes to kind of help us break games open. The turnovers were a problem, but I thought the middle 30 minutes of that game, after we settled down after the first five minutes all the way up until the very end, that we did a good job of not turning it over. Once we got settled down with the turnovers, the rebounding got shored up when we made the run to start the second half. Those were two areas we knew they were really good at and we were going to have to play well and we had stretches we did pretty good job of that tonight. This is a good quality win. I mean that's a team that plays with a lot of confidence. They're one of the hardest playing teams we've seen. I played at Duke when I was at Buffalo, that's not an easy game to go in and win. For a team that went in and won for the first time in over 20 years for a non-conference team to win in Cameron, that is going to be a confident team. They came in here and I thought our defense was as good as it has been all year. I'm proud of the guys' effort tonight."



Team Stats

  • Alex Reese had a stand-out night, setting a season-high for threes made and tied a career high with eight three-point attempts
  • The Tide had five players score 10-plus points. The last time this occurred was last season vs. Kentucky on Jan. 5, 2019
  • As a team, the Crimson Tide established new season-best marks in blocked shots (8) and steals (11)
  • After SFA held a one-point lead at the half (32-31), Alabama outscored Stephen F. Austin 46-37 in the second half
  • Kira Lewis Jr. tied his career high of four steals
  • John Petty Jr. has recorded five consecutive double-digit scoring games
First Half

  • The game's first four minutes were a defensive struggle, with the Crimson Tide and the Lumberjacks tied at 5-5 at the 15:42 mark
  • With SFA leading 19-13, the Tide used a 7-0 run to take a 20-19 lead with 6:00 left in the opening half
  • After the Lumberjacks claimed a 28-27 edge, Petty drilled his third three of the game to give the Tide a 30-28 lead with 1:24 remaining in the first – the Tide's first lead of the game
  • Alabama carried a 32-31 lead into halftime
  • Lewis paced the Tide with seven points and four steals in the first 20 minutes
  • The Crimson Tide held the Lumberjacks to just 33 percent (10-of-30) shooting in the first half
Second Half

  • Alabama opened the second half with two three-pointers from Petty, giving the Tide a 38-33 advantage with 18:29 to play
  • A three from Alex Reese and two free-throws from Jaden Shackelford capped off a 15-2 Alabama surge to open the half, turning a 33-32 deficit into a 47-35 Crimson Tide lead with 15:14 to go
  • The Lumberjacks answered back with a 7-0 run to trim the Tide's lead to 47-42 at the 13:10 mark
  • The Crimson Tide responded with a 7-0 run of its own and extended its lead to 54-42 with 10:48 to go in the contest
  • Alabama maintained a double-digit lead until the final media timeout of the game, as they led 65-53 with just 3:53 left in the game
  • SFA would cut the Tide's lead to 74-68 with 0:19 left, but Alabama would use free throws and defense to close out the game
  • Alabama shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field over the final 20 minutes of action and finished at 45 percent for the game while holding the Lumberjacks to just 39 percent for the contest
The Tide will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 14, as it travels to State College, Pa., to take on Penn State. Tip-off is slated for 1 pm and will be available on the Big Ten Network.
 

planomateo

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Funny that beating a small school in Texas is considered a big win.
 

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The announcers stated that SFA had been forcing 26 turnovers per game but had been turning it over themselves something like 19 times a game. I actually think Bama settled down especially in the second half with turnovers again until the very end of the game.
 

TerryP

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I haven't seen half by half breakdowns; can't comment on that. Work schedule interfered with watching the game though I may watch it later on today.

I noticed yesterday the two teams were close when it came to turnovers with Bama holding a slight edge losing two or three fewer per game.

Have you seen SFA's +/- margin?
 

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