TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 24 Alabama basketball stormed back for a 77-74 win over Louisiana Tech on Wednesday night to improve to 6-1 on the season.
Louisiana Tech led by as many as 11 points at one point, and held the lead for 36:10 of the 40 minutes. But the Crimson Tide used strong second halves from Dazon Ingram, Collin Sexton and Donta Hall to secure the victory.
“Terrific second half for our team,” Johnson said. “I’m really proud of them. Those guys that were in there in the second half, they played both ends of the floor. They were hustling and played with a lot of passion.”
Alabama got big offensive outputs from guards Dazon Ingram and Collin Sexton and forward Donta Hall.
It was Ingram who kept Alabama in the game, becoming more aggressive as Louisiana Tech tried to build a bigger lead. Ingram finished with 22 points and 9 rebounds while making 13 of 17 free throws.
Hall threw down momentum-swinging dunks and was a force on the defensive end, finishing with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Despite early shooting struggles, Sexton provided the closing punch. The star freshman poured in 22 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and had 3 steals.
“They’re just so good off the dribble,” Louisiana Tech coach Eric Konkol said of Ingram and Sexton. “They’re so difficult to keep in front.”
Free throw shooting
Alabama’s free throw shooting was the difference in the game. The Crimson Tide struggled making foul shots in the opening half, but made them down the stretch.
Alabama closed the game by making 13 straight free throws. That should give the team confidence going forward.
Johnson was sure to mention the minutes Alabama got from forwards Riley Norris and Alex Reese, and rightfully so. Neither posted big numbers, but they stepped in when Alabama needed a spark.
Reese broke a scoring drought for the Crimson Tide, scoring the first points of the second half. Norris provided veteran leadership, drew offensive fouls and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Norris played 24 minutes while Reese played 14. Johnson said the team thought about starting Norris in the game.
“Reese and Riley, their numbers are not going to blow you away on the stat sheet,” Johnson said. “But defensively — the way they helped us especially when we went to a little bit of a matchup zone to try to slow them down — those guys were critically important.”
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