The Alabama Crimson Tide played Brigham Young University in the Barclays Classic on Friday afternoon and came away with a comfortable 71-59 victory. Despite the name of the event, the game was played in a glorified YMCA gym at LIU-Brooklyn, because the Brooklyn Nets were using their home court.
‘Bama will face 14th ranked Minnesota in the championship game on Saturday at 4 p.m. That game WILL be played in the Barclays Center. This event really seems to be poorly run and disorganized. Today’s game wasn’t televised, but available only on Facebook Live, and tomorrow’s, a matchup of two ranked teams, couldn’t garner a look on television either. Don’t expect many eyeballs on it anyway, as it tips at 4 p.m. CT, about halftime of the Iron Bowl. The 5-0 start is the best for the Tide since a 6-0 start to the 2012-13 season.
‘Bama was never in danger in the game, starting fast, building a big halftime lead, then coasting to victory. The Tide built a 42-31 edge at the break on the strength of hot shooting, 18-30 (60%), including 4-5 from three point range.
The Cougars had a little spurt to start the second half, and cut the margin to seven, but the Tide went on 9-3 run to get a double digit lead that they would keep for most of the rest of the game.
‘Bama had four players in double figures, led by John Petty with 16. Donta Hall came up big with 14 points and led the team with nine rebounds. Dazon Ingram had his usual solid game, shooting 5-9 to score 13 points with three rebounds and three assists. Collin Sexton came down to earth after averaging over 25 points a game in his first three games. Sexton’s “off“ night consisted of 10 points (on 3-11 shooting), seven rebounds, and three assists, a pretty nice stat line for a normal player. Daniel Giddens had a big first half and finished with eight points, two rebounds and three blocked shots. Riley Norris didn’t stuff the stat sheet, but was a steady, calming presence and added four points and three rebounds. Herbert Jones did his thing, to the tune of four points and three rebounds while drawing three charges. Avery Johnson, Jr. hit one big three point basket and provided rest to Sexton. Alex Reese and Galin Smith barely played, seeing only four minutes and six minutes of action, respectively.
The Tide shot 27-55 (49%) on the game, including 5-13 (39%) from deep. Free throw shooting improved to 12-16 for 75%. The team gathered 34 rebounds, dished out 12 assists, blocked six shots, had six steals and nine turnovers.
BYU had several wide open looks they couldn’t convert and shot only 22-59 for the game (37%), including only 4-17 (23%) from behind the arc. The Cougars matched ‘Bama with 34 rebounds, and had 15 assists while turning the ball over 11 times.
This was another solid win for Alabama’s resume in regard to the NCAA Tournament. A victory tomorrow would be a huge boost, and would catapult the Tide up the rankings. Things are rolling, and this team is fun. Be sure to stay buckled up.