Alabama cruises past Lipscomb for a 86-64 win
By DREW HILL
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama's freshman stars lived up to the preseason hype in their first game in front of the home crowd.
Collin Sexton had 22 points and five assists in his Alabama debut to lead the Crimson Tide to an 86-64 win on Tuesday night over Lipscomb.
The NCAA reinstated Sexton, a top 10 national recruit, after serving a one-game suspension for rules violations.
John Petty, another highly-rated freshman for the Crimson Tide, poured in 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, and also had six rebounds.
The big offensive nights from the two freshman guards made up for the absence of injured wing Braxton Key (knee), who led the team in scoring last season.
"It's finally good to be able to pick back up our team chemistry, and put all the pieces together that we had before the (Sexton) situation popped up," Petty said. "It was great just getting back in rhythm with each other."
Alabama (2-0) shot an efficient 60 percent from the floor, scoring 50 points in the paint, but shot just 38 percent from the free-throw line.
"That's not normal for us," sophomore Dazon Ingram said. "We usually shoot the ball well from the free-throw line in practice. I don't know what happened tonight, the ball just wouldn't go in the hole."
Donta Hall was the Crimson Tide's leader down low. The junior scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds, while freshman forward Alex Reese scored four points and had nine rebounds.
Despite a noticeable size advantage, Alabama was outrebounded 47-40 by the Bisons, and the Crimson Tide snagged just five missed shots on offense.
Lipscomb (2-1) kept the contest within single digits for most of the game, but was unable to stop Alabama on the defensive end.
The Crimson Tide defense held the Bisons' offense to 33 percent shooting, blocking 10 shots and surrendering just 22 points in the paint.
"They took us out of everything we like to do offensively," Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. "We're known for being a good offensive team that plays well together, and their pressure really got to us today."
Garrison Mathews had 15 points and six rebounds for Lipscomb.
"Overall, for (Sexton's) first game, not bad." Alabama coach Avery Johnson said.
Lipscomb: Garrison Mathews, a preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team guard, is off to a great start. The junior scored 25 points against Morehead State, 37 points against Emory, and scored a team-high 15 points against Alabama.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide is now 2-0 on the season despite playing shorthanded in both games. The return of five-star freshman Collin Sexton is encouraging, but Alabama is still without key players Ar'Mond Davis (knee) Braxton Key (knee), and Riley Norris (hip).
On top of his 22 points and five assists, Sexton did an excellent job of taking care of the basketball. In 27 minutes of playing time, the freshman point guard had just two turnovers.
After Lipscomb kept it close for most of the game, Alabama went on a 12-4 run at the 8-minute mark of the second half to blow the game open and create a comfortable 16-point lead.
Lipscomb will have another tough road test at Texas on Saturday with a chance for an upset victory.
Alabama will play Alabama A&M on Friday one week ahead of a trip to Brooklyn, New York for the Barclays Center Classic.
Updated November 14, 2017