Junior guard John Petty Jr. scored a career-high 39 points and Alabama survived Samford’s second-half comeback bid for a 105-87 victory Wednesday night in the Chick-fil-A Birmingham Classic in Birmingham’s Legacy Arena.
Petty had 17 of his points less than eight minutes into the game and finished 12 of 18 from the field overall and 10 of 13 from 3-point range. He also collected 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Forward Alex Reese added 16 for the Crimson Tide (5-5).
Guard Brandon Austin, a transfer from Alabama, led the Bulldogs (6-7) with 18 points. Forward Robert Allen had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and guard Josh Sharkey and forward Jalen Dupree scored 16 points each. Sharkey added 15 assists for a double-double.
The Tide took less than five minutes to build a 20-point cushion and led by as many as 25 points early in the second half before the Bulldogs, who had played at Hawaii just three nights earlier, began to make things interesting.
Trailing 66-41 at the 17:06 mark, Samford’s full-court pressure forced the Tide into some costly turnovers and the Bulldogs started finding the range to get their deficit down to single digits for the first time since early in the game, 73-65, over the next four minutes.
Allen’s 3-pointer got the Bulldogs within 83-77 and it was still a 6-point game, 90-84, before the Tide got the game back into double digits down the stretch.
Early on, the Tide jumped out to 13-0 lead in less than two minutes and rolled to a 22-2 cushion at the first media timeout, missing only one of their first eight shots while the Bulldogs made only one of their first six attempts.
The Bulldogs eventually got on their feet and were 9 of 13 over the last nine minutes of the first half, but the Tide still held a 57-37 advantage at the break after shooting 61.3 percent (19 of 31) in the opening 20 minutes.
—Field Level Media