An uninspired Alabama basketball team playing in front of an equally uninspired crowd needed six straight free throws late to hold off Division II, Augusta State. JaMychal Green, limited to nineteen minutes due to 1st half foul trouble, led Alabama with 12 points and 5 rebounds. He was the only player to score in double figures. Alabama trailed in the 1st half by eight points before rallying to take a one point lead into halftime.
I missed the first 5-6 minutes of this game so I can’t comment on that portion of it. However, what I did see was not very encouraging. Augusta State is a Division II power, they deserve respect, but Alabama did not play well at all. Turnovers were once again an issue (23), though the Tide did shoot extremely well from the free-throw line (90.9%), which was the difference in the game. JaMychal only played three minutes in the 1st half before picking up two fouls. With its best post player off the floor, and facing a zone defense, Bama relied on the three-point shot, which wasn’t there for most of the evening (29.4%).
There isn’t much good to report. However, the defensive pressure did force Augusta into eighteen turnovers and 38.9% shooting from the floor.
Bottom line: The team won the game. It’s better to play poorly and win than to lose games of this nature. With an extremely tough Cornell team coming in Saturday for the season opener, Alabama has a lot to work on if it wants to emerge a victor on Saturday. The best place to start is what has been most consistent the last two games - their defense. This team is going to have to bring it on the defensive end every single night in order to have a chance to win; they simply don’t have much offensive firepower based on the first two games to outscore anyone.
Oh well. It could be worse. We could be Arkansas fans.