Bama Hoops Hype

Rapid Recap: Alabama 74, UAH 65

Alabama Men's Basketball

It may not have been the night that Alabama fans were hoping for but the Crimson Tide certainly learned a lot from its exhibition game on Monday night.

Alabama came away with a 74-65 win over the Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville. Daniel Giddens was the unexpected star of the night, using a double-double to push the Tide ahead in the second half.

“Daniel gives us the ability to play a lot of different ways,” head coach Avery Johnson said after the game. “He can protect the basket, he can rebound. He has a lot of different strengths that help us on the court.”

Giddens finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, both of which are career highs for the Ohio State transfer. Giddens led the team across the board in statistical categories. While his points and rebounds were team highs, Giddens also added 7 offensive rebounds and 5 blocks.

“I was a little jittery at first,” Giddens said after his first game in Tuscaloosa. “I was just happy to be out there with my teammates. It felt great to play with them.”

Just before the game tipped off, Alabama announced that Collin Sexton was going to be held out of Monday’s contest due to eligibility issues. Once the Tide hit the court, things did not seem to get much better.

UAH jumped out to a 14-1 lead as Johnson’s squad struggled to find offense. It did not take long for the Crimson Tide to cut into the lead but it was not a pretty sight for the home fans. It took 5:35 for Alabama to make its first field goal, which is something fans are all too used to seeing.

John Petty began to take over as the Tide’s strongest offensive weapon. The Huntsville native scored 9 points in the opening half and helped cut the Chargers lead to 35-33 at halftime. Petty finished with 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting. The freshman hit two threes and added 9 rebounds and 5 steals.

“I thought Petty made some big shots for us tonight,” Johnson said of his star freshman. “He’s another guy that’s going to continue to get better as the season goes on.”

Herb Jones and Avery Johnson Jr. also scored in double figures for the Crimson Tide. Jones finished with 14 points to go with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals. Johnson Jr. scored 10 points on shot 5-of-6 from inside the arc.

Justin Ward led the way for the Chargers. He scored the visitors’ first 16 points and finished with 29 points for UAH.

Caleb Turrentine is the editor for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for in-game updates at @CalebTurrentine.

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