Alabama Scores Over 100 in Win Against Louisiana-Lafayette
Days after its largest margin of defeat in over a decade, Alabama had a significantly different outcome Friday.
Behind six players scoring in double figures, the Crimson Tide outpaced Louisiana-Lafayette in a 105-93 victory in Coleman Coliseum.
“We had a great team effort offensively,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. “We have had two great practices and really bounced back tonight. For us to score over 100 points after struggling so much on the road, that says a lot about the mental toughness of our young team. Louisiana-Lafayette is going to make the NCAA tournament, so it was a good barometer for us.”
Justin Coleman, Shannon Hale, Riley Norris, Retin Obasohan, Arthur Edwards and Dazon Ingram all reached double digits in scoring in the victory over the Ragin' Cajuns. Coleman, Hale and Norris tied for the team high with 18 points apiece. Obasohan added 17, while Edwards had 12 and Ingram had 10 to go along with his team-high seven rebounds.
The Crimson Tide (2-1) led by as many as 19 points in the second half after taking a 55-39 into halftime. It had not scored 100 or more points in a game against a Division I opponent since a 101-66 win over Jackson State on Dec. 27, 2005 in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama also had a 100-point game against Alabama State that season, a 105-68 win on Nov. 20, 2005 – exactly 10 years to the day of Friday's game. It beat Division II Stillman, 102-65, in a regular-season game on Nov. 18, 2013.
On Tuesday of this week, Alabama lost 80-48 at Dayton, its largest margin of defeat since March 3, 2001.
“I think it was just a concentration thing,” Norris said on the quick turnaround. “Coming off the Dayton game we were refocused, had two great days of practice and I think we were ready to go tonight.”
Norris, whose 18 points were a career high, had at least one particular moment of focus in the win. With 40 seconds left and Alabama stuck at 99 points, the sophomore forward made one of two free throws to help the Tide reach triple digits.
It wasn’t too much pressure for him, though, even as the announced crowd of 11,465 in Coleman Coliseum waited in anticipation for the team to hit the milestone.
“In the last few practices, Coach has really implied we need to make more free throws and we’ve been practicing a whole lot,” Norris said, “so I just got there, concentrated – I could hear the fans rumbling in the background – but just concentration.”
Alabama shot 54.2 percent from the field against Louisiana-Lafayette, while connecting on 15-of-25 3-point attempts. Its 15 made 3-pointers were the most by an Alabama team since hitting a school-record 19 against East Tennessee State on Dec. 1, 2004.
It was the second home game of the season for the Crimson Tide, who beat Kennesaw State, 77-64, in its season opener last Friday.
Shawn Long, a senior and former Mississippi State player who's averaged a double-double in each of his previous three seasons, had 25 points and 14 rebounds.
Alabama plays Xavier in Game 1 of the 2015 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando next Thursday. USC, Wichita State, Notre Dame, Monmouth, Iowa and Dayton are the tournament's other participants.