Alabama 76, Charleston Southern 46: Tide leaves no room for doubt against outmanned Bucs

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November 29, 2016

Alabama dominated from the opening tip to the final buzzer, limiting Charleston Southern to 34 percent shooting in a 76-46 blowout at Coleman Coliseum.

What did we learn today?: The Crimson Tide has a killer instinct to put away inferior competition. It doesn’t sound like much, but after close calls last year against and Jacksonville State, it is nothing to take for granted. This game was over when Bama opened on an 18-5 run and never looked back, building a 40-15 halftime advantage. Even if concentration and motivation understandably lagged after halftime, coach Avery Johnson got everything he could reasonably hope for in his team’s last November tune-up before the meat of the non-conference schedule.

What was the best part of the game?: The all-around sharpness of the first half to salt the game away early. After being off a week and with the temptation to peek ahead to a showdown at Texas, Alabama avoided coming out flat and owned the first 20 minutes, committing just five fouls and only turning the ball over five times while coming within a hair of shooting 50 percent from the field. The game was so solidly in hand that no starter played more than 20 minutes.

Who was the star?: took (and made) only one shot from the floor after halftime, but he’d already done all he needed to prove his dominance. Twelve of his 14 points came in the first half, and the freshman forward also finished with six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Donta Hall also shined before intermission, scoring all six points and grabbing all seven rebounds in the first half.

What were the biggest concerns?: Thanks to the lopsided score and mass substitutions, Alabama played sloppy after the break, even though it outscored the Buccaneers 36-31 in the final 20 minutes. The Crimson Tide finished with 13 turnovers, was only 60 percent from the foul line and only 9-for-25 from 3-point range.

What’s next?: The Longhorns fell out of this week’s Top 25 poll but still represent Bama’s biggest test to date. Tipoff in Austin is Friday at 8:30 p.m. Central on ESPNU.

Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris

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