ALABAMA MEN’S WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL BEATS MEMPHIS, 63-43, TO CLOSE PRESS GANEY TIPOFF

In Stran-Hardin Arena, there’s a smell of rubber. A smell people might ask questions about, but in wheelchair basketball, it’s a familiar smell. When two chairs collide, the scent fills the air. It may alarm people at first, but its a sign of an aggressive, fast game. Nothing to be concerned about.

For the first time this season, the Alabama men’s wheelchair basketball team started fast. In the first four minutes, both teams had a combined nine points. Rashad Bennett had four of the first six points for Alabama.

Partha Venkatram solidified himself as a key contributor in the defensive and transition game. Ignacio Ortega continued his fast-paced, high energy style of play, creating havoc for Memphis. With 11:45 left in the first half, he had a block sending the ball flying through the air to the other side of the court. As he did, he fist-pumped his chest, sending out a loud cry of adrenaline.

Alabama had three different scorers during the first half but still trailed 27-21 at halftime.

After Abraham Hausman-Weiss tied the game at 27-27, the Crimson Tide started pulling away. Alabama continued its pressure and kept the game aggressive. This weekend, Alabama learned a lot about its identity and the type of team they expect to have. With several new faces, this weekend showed a lot to improve on.

Ortega led the team with 26 points, Hausman-Weiss recorded 15 and Bennett and Lindy Bridges both finished with eight apiece.

The Crimson Tide finished the Press Ganey Tipoff 3-0. Alabama will next play Friday, Nov. 15, at the Hollister Open in Tuscaloosa.

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