ALABAMA EARNS IMPORTANT WIN BEFORE FACING NORTH CAROLINA

The Alabama men’s basketball team defeated Furman, 81-73, Tuesday night at Coleman Coliseum. The wins put the Crimson Tide at (2-2), while the Paladins lose its first game of the season.

Alabama was led by freshman Jaden Shackelford scoring a season-high 25 points finishing 7-of-12 from the field, including three shots behind the arc. Following his lead, sophomore Kira Lewis Jr. tallied 19 points and seven rebounds. Junior John Petty Jr. recorded a season-high 16 points, while redshirt freshman Javian Davis had 10 points.

Both teams played a competitive game. However, the Crimson Tide struggled with turnovers with 22 compared to the Paladins 11. Despite that, Alabama turned a 50-50 game with just under four minutes left into a nine-point lead. A team who struggles at the free-throw line hit 11 straight, finishing 15-of-18 in the second half.

“That was a big win. Huge. We needed that one,” head coach Nate Oats said in a press release. “We needed to get to 2-2 before we go play North Carolina. We challenged our guys to not let offensive mistakes and adversity on the offensive end affect effort on defense. I thought we did a really good job of that.”

Alabama outrebounded Furman 43-34 with seven offense boards making it the fourth straight game the Crimson Tide has won the rebound battle.

The Crimson Tide had four players in double figures and finished 74.1 percent from the free-throw line.

In Oats’s first year as Alabama’s coach, he already has two technical fouls. He brings a fast-paced electric atmosphere in which the team was missing while under Avery Johnson. And, while the Crimson Tide still struggles in particular areas, they are also improving as a unit.

Alabama next plays Wednesday, Nov. 27, against No. 5 North Carolina in the first of three games at the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Islands, Bahamas. Tip-off is slated for 1:30 pm CT.

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