Kira Lewis scored 21 points Sunday night as Alabama used a big run midway through the second half to subdue upset-minded Appalachian State and take an 81-73 win at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
John Petty and Donta Hall added 12 points apiece for the Crimson Tide (2-0), which overcame poor shooting simply by getting many more chances to shoot than the Mountaineers (1-1). Despite converting only 38.5 percent of its field goal attempts, Alabama took 14 more shots, in part because it rebounded 21 of its missed shots on its way to a 45-39 rebounding advantage.
The Tide also reaped a major advantage at the foul line, where its aggression paid off with 43 attempts, 18 more than Appalachian State. Alabama missed 17 free throws, but sheer volume made all the difference.
Isaac Johnson pumped in a game-high 22 points and added 13 rebounds for the Mountaineers, while Ronshad Shabazz sank five 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Justin Forrest hit for 14, although he made only 5 of his 14 attempts.
Appalachian State trailed 38-35 at the half, but roared out of the gate in the second half. When Johnson converted a 3-point play with 12:04 left, the Mountaineers owned a 56-50 advantage.
At that point, the Tide went on a 14-1 spurt, holding the visitors without a field goal for nearly five minutes. Lewis finished the run with a layup after an offensive rebound for a 64-57 lead with 7:32 remaining.
Johnson’s layup pulled Appalachian State within 65-61 with 5:55 left, but Dazon Ingram sandwiched buckets around two Lewis free throws to up the advantage to 10 points at the 3:56 mark. That rendered the game’s remainder into a slog to the final horn.
Lewis’ jumper in the paint established a 13-6 lead for Alabama just over 4 1/2 minutes into the game, but the Mountaineers clawed their way back with a 14-4 spurt. When Shabazz drained a 3-pointer with 9:47 left in the half, Appalachian State owned a 20-17 advantage.
—Field Level Media