Four players scored in double figures Sunday as Alabama established a 13-point lead, then held off Wichita State for a 90-86 win to claim fifth place in the Charleston Classic at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C.
Kira Lewis scored 24 points to pace the Crimson Tide (4-1), while Alex Reese came off the bench to net 19. Herbert Jones and John Petty each added 13 as Alabama kept the Shockers at bay by going 23 for 24 at the foul line in the second half.
Markis McDuffie poured in a game-high 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Wichita State (2-3). Dexter Dennis scored 19 points in a reserve role, while Samaj Haynes-Jones and Jaime Echenique added 13 apiece.
The Crimson Tide never trailed in the second half, but couldn’t really relax as the Shockers gradually cut into a 48-35 lead. When Dennis sank a 3-pointer with 7:15 left, Wichita State forged a tie at 69.
But Alabama regained the lead with 6:07 left when Lewis drilled a 3-pointer in transition, then nursed it all the way to the end. Lewis sank two foul shots with 33.6 seconds remaining for an 85-79 edge, but Haynes-Jones responded with a layup with 22.4 seconds left.
Lewis canned two free throws with 18 seconds remaining, but Haynes supplied a 3-point play with 11.2 ticks on the clock. However, Reese sank a foul shot with 7.2 seconds left to finally nudge the Tide over the finish line.
The teams went back-and-forth for the first seven minutes until Alabama rattled off 12 straight points. Petty started the run with a 3-pointer with 13:36 left, and Tevin Mack finished it with another 3 with 10:59 left to give the Tide a 24-14 advantage.
Alabama stretched the margin to 29-16 before the Shockers responded with a 14-4 spurt. McDuffie fueled the run with nine points, including a 3-point trip with 5:06 left. But the Tide ended the half with a 13-4 spurt as Lewis’ layup on the fast break providing a 46-34 advantage at intermission.
—Field Level Media