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Alabama 71, BYU 59: Tide rings up a solid win for Black Friday

By Chris DePew
TideFans.com Staff
Nov. 24, 2017

Four different players scored in double figures as No. 25 Alabama slowed the pace down the stretch but still flourished offensively in a 71-59 victory against BYU.

What did we learn today?: This isn’t a one-man show. Collin Sexton was struggling much of the day, going just 3-for-11 from the floor and finishing with 10 points, snapping a string of three consecutive games with 20 or more. Furthermore, his three turnovers matched his assist total (although his seven rebounds were a welcome contribution). But his backcourt mates ably picked up the slack. Dazon Ingram attacked the basket time and again from the point to finish with 13 points and three assists. John Petty rediscovered his shooting touch, making 4-of-7 3-pointers and shooting 50 percent overall to ring up a team-high 16 points. The Cougars learned the hard way that stopping one player isn’t enough to shut down Alabama anymore.

What was the best part of the game?: Clamping down on BYU’s offense. The Cougars came to Brooklyn shooting better than 50 percent from the field, better than 38 percent from behind the arc and almost 79 percent at the foul line. But they never got anything going against the Tide, shooting just 37.3 percent on field goals and making only four treys. Even the foul line was unkind, with BYU getting a below-normal 21 attempts and making 11. For its part, Bama added to the misery with six steals and six blocks. Alabama led virtually the entire game and never let BYU mount a serious threat down the stretch.

Who was the star?: Donta Hall had a knack for getting a basket at all the key points of the game, finishing with 14 points while going 6-for-8 from the floor and collecting nine rebounds. It didn’t hurt that he finally had some help in the frontcourt with Daniel Giddens contributing eight points and blocking three shots. And both big men went 2-for-2 from the foul line, a daily double that pays off at longer odds than anything available down the road at Belmont Park or Aqueduct.

What were the biggest concerns?: Scrambling to find a radio or a streaming audio feed. The Barclays Center Classic has had a slipshod vibe from the beginning, and that feeling was reinforced after the promised streaming feed on Facebook Live didn’t come through and the revised link sent out through social media channels only functioned on some devices. That was another black mark against an event that (A) Couldn’t play in its namesake arena the first day because of scheduling conflicts with another college twin bill, (B) Isn’t a true tournament, but rather a pair of pre-scheduled doubleheaders and (C) Ruined its best game, Saturday’s Top-25 showdown between the Tide and No. 14 Minnesota, by placing it on the most important college football Saturday in a time slot where anyone could have predicted it would conflict with the Iron Bowl. This is the second year in a row Alabama has been in a low-rent November event with no way to watch on traditional cable or a proven streaming service with professional production values. Next year’s trip to the Charleston Classic will be a welcome step up in quality, and Avery Johnson should insist that his team stick with tournaments of that caliber or better moving forward.

What’s next?: The Crimson Tide and Golden Gophers are expected to tip off around 4 p.m. Central as the scene shifts from LIU-Brooklyn’s on-campus gym (capacity 2500) to the home of the NBA’s Nets (capacity 17,732). Once again the game is scheduled to be shown on Stadium via Facebook Live.

Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris

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