Hale hits 5 3s, Alabama beats Louisiana-Lafayette 105-93
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Shannon Hale scored 18 points to help Alabama beat Louisiana-Lafayette 105-93 Friday night.
Hale made 6 of 12 field goals, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range.
Alabama (2-1) shot 56.3 percent from the field in the first half and 54.2 percent (32-59) overall. The Crimson Tide made 8 of 11 from behind the arc in the first half and 15 of 25 overall.
Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said this team is always going to be one that doesn't have much experience or size.
''But we have to overcome those things by really playing great as a team,'' Johnson said. ''I've showed them a lot of video and talked about a lot of teams especially on the NBA level that wasn't the most talented teams, but they played together. They played together today. It was just fun to watch us offensively.''
More fun than the 48 points scored against Dayton on Tuesday in a 32-point loss on the road. It was the worst loss for Alabama since a 78-51 loss to Florida on March 1, 2011, well before Johnson came to Tuscaloosa.
''For us to come and score over 100 points after struggling so much on the road, that says a lot about the mental toughness of our young team,'' Johnson said.
Riley Norris and Justin Coleman scored 18 points apiece for Alabama while Retin Obasohan made 4 of 5 from 3-point range and scored 17 before fouling out. Arthur Edwards added 12 points and Dazon Ingram scored 10. Coleman finished with eight assists, three steals and three rebounds.
''We do not have a 30-point scorer,'' Johnson said. ''We don't have a guy that we can roll the ball out there. Louisiana-Lafayette has Long. He's a 20-, 25-, 30-point scorer. For us to be competitive and have a chance to have some measure of success, we must do it as a team.''
Norris shot 8 of 10 from the free-throw line, 2 of 2 from 3-point range and 4 of 5 from the field.
One of Norris' free throws put Alabama over 100 points for the first time against a Division I opponent in 10 years.
''In the last few practices, Coach has really implied we need to make more free throws and we've practicing a whole lot, so I just got out there, kind of concentrate,'' Norris said. ''You know, I could hear the fans kind of rumbling in the background, but just concentration.''
Shawn Long led Louisiana with 25 points. He was 9-of-16 shooting, including 3 of 6 from three-point range. He had 14 rebounds, three blocks and one steal in 35 minutes.
The Ragin' Cajuns (1-2) shot 45.9 percent (28 of 61) from the field and 65 percent (26 of 40) from the free throw line. They hit 11 3-pointers in the loss.
In the second half, Louisiana out-scored the Crimson Tide 54-50, but couldn't get Alabama's lead under 10 until there were 37 seconds left.
''Their team played well, and they were the better team tonight,'' Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Bob Marlin said.
Alabama started 7 of 7 from three-point range.
Alabama matched its point output from its previous game (48 in a loss at Dayton on Tuesday) with more than two minutes to play in the first half. ...The Crimson Tide cleared 100 points for the first time since Nov. 18, 2013 when it scored 102 in 37-point win over Stillman in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Louisiana hosts Loyola on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT.
Alabama heads to the 2015 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando, Florida, where it will face Xavier on Thursday.