BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama guard John Petty Jr. tied his own school record of 10 made three-pointers and finished with 39 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the Crimson Tide men’s basketball team to a dominating 105-87 road win over Samford in the inaugural Chick-fil-A Birmingham Classic played inside Legacy Arena.
Thanks in large part to Petty’s performance, Alabama (5-5) set a school record as the 105 points are the most points ever scored in a true road game in program history, surpassing mark of 101 points set on Dec. 4, 2004 in a triple overtime loss at Charlotte. Even though Wednesday night’s contest was played in Legacy Arena, it was a considered a true road game for the Crimson Tide.
Petty finished the night connecting on 12-of-18 shots from the field and 10-of-13 from beyond the arc – the same exact total of threes made and attempted when he originally set the program record back on Nov. 17, 2017 vs. Alabama A&M.
In addition to Petty’s output, junior Alex Reese finished with 16 points to mark his third consecutive double-digit game, while freshman Jaden Shackelford scored 16 points and sophomore Kira Lewis 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in the win.
Samford (6-7) was led by Josh Sharkey’s 18 points and 15 assists to lead four Bulldogs in double figures.
Nate Oats Postgame Comments
“This was a good win. Samford is a quality team. Shooting got us off to a good start. Give credit to them, they fought back from being down 25 at one point. I thought they really fought back and made it an interesting game. We didn’t handle their pressure very well. I thought our defense kind of slacked off. That’s a little bit of human nature when the offense came as easy as it did in the first half. Guys have a tendency to not play as hard as they need to and not be as focused on defense. We addressed that at the half, but I didn’t think we did a very good job coming out in the second half. Once we kind of settled in there with the press and got our defense set and got some stops, we were able to open it back up. Incredible performance from Petty. We had some guys play through injuries; Herb worked through some injuries he’s fighting. Reese, the same way. Reese has been shooting it well too, he was 4-of-8. We’ve got some tough kids that are bought in to win, we’ve just got to do a little better job staying focused on the defensive end for the full forty minutes from here on out.”
- Alabama set new season-high marks in points, field goals made (33), three-pointers made (17), three-point field goal percentage (50.0 percent, 17-of-34) and free throw percentage (84.6 percent, 22-of-26)
- This game marked the fourth time in John Petty’s career that he has hit seven or more threes in a game, more than any other player in Alabama history to achieve that feat
- Alabama broke 100 points in a game for the first time since accounting for 104 against Alabama A&M on Nov. 17, 2017
- The 105 points marked the 35th time in program history that an Alabama team has scored 105 points or more in a contest
- Alabama led by as many as 25 points before a big second half Samford run trimmed the lead to six points with just under 10 minutes left before the Tide seized back control
- Alabama stormed out of the gate, making its first three shots from beyond the arc as it scored the game’s first 13 points to take a double-digit lead before Samford would even get on the board
- After Samford’s first bucket, the Tide responded with three consecutive three-pointers to extend its advantage to 22-2
- The Crimson Tide made its first six three-pointers of the contest, including four from Petty, in just the first four minutes of the game
- Both squads would trade buckets for the final four minutes of the half as Alabama held a 57-37 edge at the half
- Petty connected on 6-of-7 attempts from deep on his way to 23 first-half points, as he surpassed his previous season-high for points in a half of 20
- Reese added 14 points in the first on 4-of-6 shooting, all from beyond the arc
- As a team, Alabama made 11-of-19 three-pointers on its way to 57 first half points, the most points the Crimson Tide has scored in a half this season
- With Alabama leading 66-41, the Bulldogs applied full-court pressure which ignited a 15-3 Samford run that trimmed the Tide’s lead to 69-56 with 14:24 to go in the game
- A Samford three-pointer extended its run to 24-7, as it cut Alabama’s lead to single digits at 73-65 with 12:52 remaining
- Samford was able to trim the lead to six points at 90-84 with 6:40 left, but UA responded by scoring eight straight to make it a 98-84 advantage with 4:40 remaining
- Alabama sealed the win by hitting its final six free throws on game to end the second half with a perfect 14-of-14 from the charity stripe
The Tide will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 21, as it travels to Huntsville, Ala., to take on Belmont in the 2019 Rocket City Classic at the Von Braun Center. Tip-off is slated for 2:30 pm CT and will be available on SEC Network.