Tigers open season with ugly loss to Alabama
ANNAPOLIS, MD-Dazon Ingram scored 20 points, and short-handed Alabama used long-range shooting to beat Memphis 82-70 on Friday night in their season opener at the Veterans Classic.
Donta Hall had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Crimson Tide, who outscored Memphis 44-34 in the second half after committing 20 fouls and 10 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
Alabama went 11 for 27 from 3-point range; the Tigers were 2 for 17. Herbert Jones and John Petty each connected twice from beyond the arc for the Crimson Tide during a 16-4 run that turned a 2-point deficit into a 57-47 lead.
A 3-pointer by Avery Johnson Jr. made it 68-51 with 7:37 left.
The Crimson Tide were without injured starters Braxton Key (knee) and Riley Norris (hip), two of the team’s top three scorers from last year. Also missing: reserve guard Ar’mond Davis and highly touted freshman guard Collin Sexton, who served a one-game suspension levied by NCAA.
Alabama’s depth was tested after starters Daniel Giddens and Jones, along with reserve Galin Smith, each picked up three fouls in the first half. Through seven players finished with at least three fouls, only Smith garnered five.
Memphis coach Tubby Smith launched his 27th season as a head coach with only two letterwinners from last season, tied for the fewest in Division I.
Yet, the Tigers held the lead until Hall began the pivotal run with a dunk and Jones popped a 3-pointer to put Alabama ahead for good.
Kyvon Davenport had 15 points and 11 points for Memphis.
The first meeting between Alabama and Memphis since 2005 was followed by Pittsburgh versus Navy in the annual season-opening event at the Naval Academy.