With several of its new additions making their unofficial debut, the University of Alabama men’s basketball team got off to a high-flying start on its Canadian tour with a 96-57 victory at McGill on Monday night.
Led by John Petty’s 22 points, four players reached double digits in scoring. The freshman guard was 6-of-8 from 3-point range and also grabbed five options in just 16 minutes of playing time. He scored 11 of Alabama’s 17 points in the second quarter.
Senior guard Ar’Mond Davis scored 14 points. Freshman guard Collin Sexton scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half, and sophomore forward Daniel Giddens matched his total.
Alabama season high in points scored in 2016-17 was 90, which it did twice (vs. LSU and the four-overtime game at South Carolina).
“Overall it was extremely positive,” coach Avery Johnson said in a release from the school. “We had unbelievable energy throughout the game. Our guys moved the ball and we made some shots. I thought we played really good defense. We clamped down on them defensively, so I am pleased with the overall energy and passion that we played with.
“In the first half, I thought we did a great job with our pace. We set great screens and our guys had great spacing on offense, which allowed John to hit some shots. In the second half, we got really sloppy. That gives me something to talk to the team about and show them some video. We have really good kids on our team who want to play the right way. We had some correctable mistakes tonight and we can learn from those.”
After McGill took an early 11-2 lead, Alabama countered with a 36-2 run.
Petty, Sexton and Giddens combined to score 32 of Alabama’s 51 points in the first half while giving up just 28. The Crimson Tide shot 60 percent during the first two quarters (18-for-30), compared to McGill’s 30.3 percent as it made just 3 of 17 from beyond the arc.
That held up in the second half as the teams finished at 60 percent (34-of-57) and 33 percent (19-of-58), respectively. Alabama also outscored McGill’s bench, 43-17.
The Crimson Tide started Sexton, Petty, Riley Norris, Braxton Key and Donta Hall. Sophomore Dazon Ingram (foot) did not play.
McGill’s is coming off a 24-11 season, having placed first in the Quebec league, and qualified for the Final Eight national tournament. The Redmen returned 10 players, including four starters, and have eight seniors on the roster.
The real heroes as far as Alabama fans are concerned were those in the stands in the small gym. When the school’s live stream had problems during the first quarter a couple set up live feeds with the cell phones so Crimson Tide fans could keep up.
For those trying to tune in online, we apologize for the technical difficulty. We hope to get the issue resolved ASAP.
— McGill Redmen BBall (@McGillMBB) August 7, 2017
The problem was fixed in the second quarter, just in time for what the local announcer called a monster dunk by Giddens off an impressive pass by Sexton.
The game was played using FIBA rules with 10-minute quarters and a 24-second shot clock.
— Alabama M Basketball (@AlabamaMBB) August 8, 2017
Alabama will depart Montreal for Ottawa on Tuesday morning, where it will play two more games. It faces Carleton University on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET), and the University of Ottawa on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET).