For a few fretful minutes, the Alabama men’s basketball team seemed to be doing in public what it had done in a private scrimmage on Saturday.
After seven minutes of play, the Crimson Tide was tied up with NAIA opponent Montevallo and had committed some early unforced errors. But a strong 19-2 run quickly pushed Alabama into a commanding position as it took an 82-40 victory in its sole exhibition game of the season.
“It was a good all-around game for us tonight,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “Obviously we were the bigger, stronger, faster team but today we looked a little bit more like a balanced team.
“The first thing I looked at when I got the box score after the game was the turnovers (10, after committing 25 in the scrimmage loss to Jacksonville State last Saturday) and the assist-to-turnover ratio (21:10),” Johnson said. “Those were good. Then I looked at the offensive rebounds we allowed (12) and that was too many. But overall, we showed some improvement.”
The game was tied at 12-12 with 12:59 to play in the first half, but Alabama pushed that lead to 31-14 over the next nine minutes and was not seriously challenged after that.
Five UA players scored in double figures, led by John Petty’s 12 points. Galin Smith and Alex Reese each scored 11, while Herbert Jones and freshman Kira Lewis had 10 each. Center Donta Hall had eight points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Montevallo shot just 26 percent from the floor, largely a function of a size differential which, at times, had the smallest Alabama player on the floor still taller than the largest Falcon.
“We’ve practiced 12 days so we weren’t very crisp,” Montevallo head coach Danny Young said. “We didn’t execute very well. When we did execute, we were okay. But we didn’t execute very often and a lot of that had to do with them.”
Streeter led the Falcons with 11 points.
Three Crimson Tide players — seniors Riley Norris and Daniel Giddens and freshman Javian Fleming-Davis — did not suit up for the game due to injury or illness. None are expected to miss extended practice time.
Alabama will open the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 6, hosting Southern University.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.