By Chris DePew
Nov. 30, 2017
What did we learn today?: The Crimson Tide is in trouble if it can’t find a way to get off to better starts. The Bulldogs scored 17 points less than five minutes into the game to put Bama in a hole it spent most of the night trying to dig out of. Alabama closed the deficit to a single point at the break but again came out of the locker room flat as Tech opened the second half on a 10-0 run. The Tide lost against Minnesota when it went cold to start the game. It nearly got upset by Texas-Arlington when it wasn’t ready to defend from the opening tip. And even Memphis and Lipscomb gave Bama trouble until well into the second half. Bama has one month and five games left to reverse this trend before SEC play begins.
What was the best part of the game?: The reliability of Donta Hall. He may never become the dominant rebounder his 6-foot-9 frame suggests, but the junior from Luverne is becoming a devastatingly efficient scorer around the rim and a feared shot blocker. Against Tech he blocked four shots, grabbed seven rebounds and was 6-for-7 from the field for a season-high 15 points. That total included a perfect 3-for-3 showing at the foul line, meaning Hall has now gone 7-for-7 from the stripe over the last three games.
Who was the star?: Sexton turned it on late after missing 10 of his first 12 shots from the floor but Ingram was a rock when few other things were going right for Bama. He scored 10 of the Tide’s 37 points in the first half and was 13-for-17 at the free throw line after hitting just 59 percent entering the game. And his nine rebounds were critical on a night where Bama didn’t pull away on the boards until late.
What were the biggest concerns?: John Petty started despite turning his ankle Saturday against Minnesota but only scored two points, played just three minutes in the second half and sat by himself on the bench while the rest of the team huddled up during time outs down the stretch. Likewise, Daniel Giddens was a non-factor despite starting, going scoreless and playing just five minutes after picking up two fouls in the first 90 seconds. Alabama shot the ball reasonably well from the floor and the line but couldn’t overtake Tech until down the stretch thanks to a season-worst 18 turnovers.
What’s next?: Bama’s underachieving frontcourt gets its biggest test to date Sunday when 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall leads UCF into Tuscaloosa. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. Central on ESPNU.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris
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