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Alabama men rally past Alabama-Huntsville


From Special Reports



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Daniel Giddens had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocked shots Monday night to lead the Alabama men's basketball team to a 74-65 victory against Alabama-Huntsville in an exhibition game at Coleman Coliseum. 


Alabama played without Braxton Key, Riley Norris, Collin Sexton, and Ar'Mond Davis. 


Freshmen Herbert Jones and John Petty added 14 points, while junior Avery Johnson Jr. had 10. 


"I want to congratulate Alabama-Huntsville," Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. "What a great game that they played. I'm really proud of the effort that our guys showed, especially in the second half, but again I want to congratulate Alabama-Huntsville for coming out and just playing some great basketball, passing the ball, cutting, moving, and diving on the floor. We were a little bit of a step behind in the first half, but we kicked it in gear late in the game." 


Alabama used a 14-3 run at the 9-minute, 46-second mark in the second half to turn a 49-47 deficit into a 61-52 lead with 5:55 to play. The Chargers never came closer than five points in the final five minutes. 


Alabama will take on Memphis in its season opener at 5:30 p.m. Friday (CBS Sports Network) at the Veterans Classic in Annapolis, Maryland. 


n In related news, Sexton, a freshman guard, didn't play because the NCAA didn't reinstate his eligibility. In a statement released Monday, Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said Alabama learned of the decision late Monday and opted to use caution in holding Sexton out of the exhibition game. 


"We don't have any further information at this time, but we will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and work toward a resolution that results in Colin's timely reinstatement," Byrne said. 


n Earlier Monday, the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) selected Sexton as one of 32 players for its 2017-18 Oscar Robertson Trophy Preseason Watch List on Monday. 


Sexton joins eight freshmen and six Southeastern Conference student-athletes who were recognized by the USBWA. 


Last month, Sexton also was one of six freshmen -- and the only honoree from the SEC -- named to the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List. 


The Mabelton, Georgia, native was a consensus top-10 player in the country coming out of Pebblebrook High School. He was rated as high as the No. 4 overall player in the nation, according to  


After an impressive prep career, Sexton earned multiple honors including being selected as a 2017 High School Second Team All-American by the Naismith Hall of Fame. In addition, Sexton was tabbed as a McDonald's All-American and won the McDonald's Jam Fest Dunk Contest.



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