TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama went big for one of its biggest games of the season. The Crimson Tide out-powered Rhode Island 68-64 Wednesday night behind 25 combined points from Donta Hall and Daniel Giddens.
Hall recorded his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Giddens recorded a season-high 12 points to go with six rebounds. The two big men helped Alabama dominate the boards as the Crimson Tide out-rebounded the Rams 50-31 on the night.
Alabama also benefitted from an uncharacteristically poor shooting performance from Rhode Island. The Rams shot a season-low 35 percent Wednesday night after coming into the game shooting 49.2 from the floor. Conversely, Alabama shot 45 percent.
On a negative note, the Crimson Tide was plagued by a season-high 24 turnovers and squandered a 13-point lead in the second half before hanging on for the win.
Alabama moves to 7-2 with the win, while Rhode Island drops to 5-3 on the season.
Here are some notes from Wednesday night’s game:
Tide's top performers
Hall entered the game with the best field-goal percentage in the nation, shooting 77.8 percent from the court. Wednesday night the 6-foot-9 forward was also efficient, making 3 of 6 shots from the floor and 7 of 10 from the free-throw line. Giddens finished the night 5 of 9 from the court.
Tuesday, Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said the Crimson Tide would need more rebounding help from its guards. Dazon Ingram answered the call against Rhode Island, pulling in 14 boards to go with 10 points for his first double-double of the year. Freshman guard John Petty also had a solid night, scoring 12 points to go with four assists.
Collin Sexton exited the game with 6:40 left in the first half after he appeared to be poked in the right eye. The freshman guard did not re-enter until 5:45 remaining in the game. Sexton finished with 11 points, including a 3 to put Alabama up 59-56 with 2:52 remaining after it had blown a 13-point lead.
It was over when
With Alabama leading 66-63 with 7 seconds remaining, Rhode Island’s Jeff Dowtin made just 1 of 2 free throws. Ingram hit both of his free throws on Alabama’s ensuing possession to put the game out of reach at 68-64.
Alabama led 63-60 with 29 seconds remaining when Rhode Island guard Jarvis Garrett missed a 3 in the corner. After hauling in the rebound, Ingram hit both of his free-throws to extend Alabama’s lead to 65-60. Jared Terrell then sunk a 3 to bring Rhode Island to 65-63 with 16 seconds left. Ingram then made 1 of 2 free throws to put Alabama up 66-63 with 12.2 remaining.
Alabama will travel to Tucson, Ariz. for its first true road game of the season as it takes on Arizona (6-3) on Saturday at 9 p.m. CT. The Wildcats are fresh off an upset of No. 7 Texas A&M, beating the Aggies 67-64 in the Valley of the Sun Showcase in Phoenix. Arizona fell out of the rankings after suffering three straight losses earlier this season but were ranked as high as No. 2 in the Associated Press Poll at one point.
Arizona is led by junior guard Allonzo Trier and freshman forward Deandre Ayton. Trier, 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, is averaging a team-high 22 points to go with 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Ayton, 7-foot-1, 250 pounds, is averaging 19.6 points and a team-high 11.2 rebounds per game.