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Alabama uses balanced approach to beat Southern

 

From Special Reports

 

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama men's basketball team placed four players in double figures Tuesday night in an 82-62 victory against Southern in the season opener for both teams at Coleman Coliseum. 

 

Senior forward Donta Hall matched his career high with 20 points to lead the charge for the Crimson Tide. 

 

Sophomore John Petty hit five 3-pointers and poured in 17 points. Tevin Mack had 10 points in his first game for Alabama. Galin Smith also had 10. Freshman Kira Lewis Jr., who earned the start at point guard, had six points and a game-high seven assists. 

 

Alabama played without Riley Norris, Dazon Ingram, and Javian Davis-Fleming, who were all sidelined with injuries.  

 

"I thought we finished the first half awfully strong," Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. "We got some momentum there and the ball started moving and we were dominant on the backboards. Throughout the game we still turned it over a little bit too much, but I was really proud of some of the shots we got especially from behind the 3-point line.  

 

"I was proud of the way the guys moved the ball. We had some guys in uniform for the very first time whether its Tevin Mack or Kira Lewis -- those guys need reps and minutes. But I'm really proud of our team because you just never know how these first games could go at home, especially against an opponent that you're not familiar with." 

 

Alabama used a 12-2 run to build a 32-20 lead with 6 minutes, 27 seconds left in the first half. The Jaguars missed their last 10 attempts from the field before the half. Alabama capitalized by going on a 13-1 run to end the half and take a 45-27 lead at intermission. 

 

In the second half, Alabama used a 13-2 run with 7:21 left in the game to take a commanding 71-45 lead. 

 

Prior to the game, Johnson, who graduated from Southern in 1988 as the program's all-time assist leader, was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Jaguars' Alumni Association. 

 

Alabama will play host to Appalachian State at 6 p.m. (SEC Network). The game will be part of Bama Salute night, which recognizes all military veterans prior to and during the game. 

 

n Southern Mississippi 111, Southeastern Baptist 66: At Hattiesburg, Former New Hope High School standout Tyler Stevenson and Dominic Magee had 15 points Tuesday night to lead five players in double figures in the season opener for both teams. 

 

It was the program's 10th-highest scoring game, and best output of the Doc Sadler era. 

 

"I think any time you score like that, you have to be pleased," Sadler said. "We had some guys who hadn't been big scorers really step up. We didn't even need guys like Gabe Watson, Kevin Holland, and Cortez Edwards, who are some of our best shooters, to get that many, and that's a positive." 

 

Southern Miss used a 19-4 run to take a 31-10 lead with 7:54 left in the first half. 

 

Stevenson, who was making his debut with the Golden Eagles, had 11 points at halftime. Leonard Harper-Baker had 10. 

 

The Black and Gold led 52-26 at the break. 

 

Anfernee Hampton added 14 points, while LaDavius Draine had 13 and Tyree Griffin added 12. 

 

Edwards had eight points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high 10 assists. 

 

Southern Miss will take on SMU at 2 p.m. Sunday. 

 

Women 

 

n Ole Miss 60, Norfolk State 42: At Oxford, Crystal Allen had 16 points Tuesday night to help first-year head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin earn her first win at the school in the season opener for both teams. 

 

"We're gonna be tough," McPhee-McCuin said. "I never said we were gonna win games. I said we're gonna be tough, we're gonna be competitive, we're gonna act like we enjoy playing the game, and when you watch us, you will be able to see that. I didn't know how this game was gonna go. Norfolk won 18 games and they have a bunch of seniors. We really needed to dig down and dig deep and figure out a way to start this season off with a win." 

 

Ole Miss fell behind 8-0, but McPhee-McCuin elected not to call a timeout. The Rebels responded by going on a 10-0 run over a course of 5:44 to take their first lead. 

 

Jhileiya Dunlap, a former Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of South Carolina, had 12 points, 10 rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals. 

 

Junior transfer Shannon Dozier had 11 points and three steals off the bench. Mimi Reid had eight points, six assists, four rebounds, and two steals, and La'Karis Salter had eight points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals). 

 

Shandricka Sessom had three points and six rebounds. 

 

Ole Miss will play host to IUPUI at 7 p.m. Friday. 

 

n Southern Mississippi 74, William Carey 48: At Hattiesburg, Former Starkville High School standout Kelsey Jones earned her first career start and scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for her first double-double Tuesday to lead the Golden Eagles in their season opener. 

 

Camille Anderson, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, had nine points and five rebounds.  

 

Southern Miss will play host to Grambling State at 2 p.m. Sunday. 

 

n Alabama will play host to Southeastern Louisiana: At Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Alabama will kick off the 2018-19 season at 7 p.m. Wednesday when it plays host to Southeastern Louisiana at Coleman Coliseum. 

 

Fans who bring a canned food item to the game will receive free admission. All military and first responders will receive free admission to the game. Family members will receive discounted admission of $3 per ticket with promo code.  

 

Alabama has won the last eight meetings, including the last five by double digits.  

 

Alabama rolled through the preseason with exhibitions wins against Faulkner (100-44) on Oct. 21 and Mississippi College (82-53) on Nov. 1.

 

 

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