Bama Hoops Hype

RECAP: Alabama Beats No. 15 Tennessee Behind Post Play

Alabama Men's Basketball

TUSCALOOSA – Head coach Avery Johnson stuck with his big starting lineup for a third consecutive game and they did not disappoint. Alabama dominated No. 15 Tennessee in the paint and rolled to a 78-50 win in Coleman Coliseum on Saturday night.

Donta Hall was the centerpiece for most of the game and performed well on both ends of the court. The junior put together his fifth double-double of the season. Hall finished with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes of play. He was 8-for-10 from the field, recording his 12th game this season in which he shot at least 80 percent. He also led the team with three blocks and two steals.

Hall led the way on the inside and the stat sheet showed it. Alabama outscored Tennessee 50-18 in the paint and held a plus-5 advantage in rebounds.

The Crimson Tide shot 57.1 percent from the field which is the team’s fourth best shooting performance of the season. Alabama finished with 15 assists on 32 made baskets. The home team was just 5-for-14 from beyond the arc and 9-for-18 at the free throw line.

The Volunteers entered Saturday with the longest winning streak in the SEC and was within shouting distance of a regular season title. However, it was the Crimson Tide that jumped out to the early lead and they never looked back.

Alabama led by as many as 11 in the opening 20 minutes but took a 37-27 lead into the locker room at halftime. Collin Sexton got off to a blazing start, scoring 10 points in the first half while making some pretty good plays.

The freshman finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in just 24 minutes on the court. Alabama outscored Tennessee by 29 points when Sexton was on the court.

Fellow freshman John Petty was the only other Alabama player to score in double figures. He made three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. It ended a 6-game streak in which Petty scored less than 10 points. He added 4 assists and 2 blocks in 27 minutes.

It did not take long for the visitors to lose any hope of a comeback after halftime. Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes was forced to call two timeouts in the first four minutes of the second half but nothing could get fixed. The Crimson Tide outscored the visitors by 18 points in the second half. Tennessee shot 24 percent and went 0-for-7 on 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes.

The win was Alabama’s fifth consecutive victory over a team ranked in the AP Top 25 this season. The Crimson Tide will resume play when they host LSU on Tuesday night. The game is scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network.

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

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