Bamba leads Texas to 66-50 victory over Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Mohamed Bamba had 17 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Texas to a 66-50 victory over Alabama Friday night.
The Longhorns (9-3) scored 12 straight points to pull away down the stretch at Legacy Arena, about an hour from campus for the Crimson Tide (8-4).
The 6-foot-11 freshman Bamba, the nation’s No. 3 shot blocker, made 7 of 10 shots for Texas. Matt Coleman scored 13 points and Kerwin Roach Jr. added 11 points and five assists. Dylan Osetkowski had eight points, seven below his season average, on 3-of-11 shooting.
John Petty led Alabama with 14 points. Daniel Giddens scored 10. Freshman Collin Sexton, the SEC’s leading scorer, scored eight points on 4-of-12 shooting. He came in averaging nearly 22 points, but did have five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Alabama cut a 12-point second-half deficit down to 51-46 on Sexton’s putback with 6:56 left. Eric Davis then hit back to back 3-pointers for the Longhorns, including one that just beat the shot clock.
Then Bamba dunked and drew a foul after an offensive rebound. His free throw pushed the lead back to double digits, at 60-48, heading into the final four minutes. That matched the Longhorns’ biggest lead at the time but it kept growing from there.
The Longhorns also led by as many as 12 points late in the first half when Alabama missed eight straight shots. The Tide cut it to 35-28 at halftime, closing with Galin Smith’s dunk and Dazon Ingram’s fast-break layup off a pass from Sexton.
Texas: Won its third straight game and rebounded from a poor shooting performance against Tennessee State. Made 24 of 54 shots (44 percent).
Alabama: Had its stretch of six straight single-digit games end. Made just 21 of 61 shots (34 percent) and hit only three 3-pointers.
HOT PROSPECTS: The game featuring potential high draft picks Bamba and Sexton drew a crowd of NBA scouts from 24 teams plus a combined 11 general managers or assistant general managers.
Texas hosts No. 14 Kansas Friday night to open Big 12 Conference play.
Alabama hosts No. 8 Texas A&M on Saturday, Dec. 30 in the Southeastern Conference opener.