No. 25 Alabama squeaks by Texas-Arlington
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama did what it needed to to remain unbeaten.
Freshman Collin Sexton scored 29 points and No. 25 Alabama beat UT-Arlington 77-76 in a come-from-behind victory Tuesday night.
“By any stretch of the imagination it wasn’t pretty, but we did whatever it took to win the game,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said.
Sexton scored the last five points for Alabama, including three free throws.
“Every time I step on the court I have to give it my all,” Sexton said.
The Crimson Tide trailed the entire first half and took their first lead, 54-53, with 12:12 remaining on a 3-pointer by Avery Johnson Jr.
UT-Arlington (2-1) relied on Kevin Hervey offensively. He did not miss a shot in the first half and scored 15 of his 24 points. Erick Neal added 16 points and Link Kabadyundi had 11 points.
“I thought our guys played extremely hard,” UT-Arlington coach Scott Cross said. “They are well-coached, they play hard they have a little bit of everything — they have drivers, they have shooters and they’ve got big guys.”
Alabama shot 50.9 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from the free throw line. Donta Hall, John Petty and Johnson each finished with eight points.
UT-Arlington outrebounded Alabama 33-28. Both teams scored 28 points in the paint.
The Crimson Tide had entered the AP rankings for the first time this week, marking their first appearance since the week of Dec. 17, 2011.
Alabama: Led in offensive production by a strong freshman class, this is the first time since the 2012-13 season the Crimson Tide have started 4-0.
UT-Arlington: Shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first half to take a 46-41 halftime lead and dropped to 36.4 percent in the second half.
Hall had an impressive dunk with 4:12 remaining to give the Crimson Tide a 72-65 lead, its largest of the game.
Alabama freshman Herb Jones came off of the bench to finish with nine rebounds, including the final board of the game as time expired. He had seven points, four steals and three assists. He also took four charges.
Alabama looks to increase its win streak Friday against BYU in the Barclays Center Classic.
UT-Arlington plays its first home game since its Nov. 11 season opener, facing Western Carolina on Friday.