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Alabama uses 24-0 run to beat Penn State 73-64

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama coach Avery Johnson called it blood, sweat and no tears game. It may have also been the best way imaginable for the Crimson Tide to go into the Christmas break.

Donta Hall had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and paced by a huge first-half run Alabama pulled out a 73-64 victory over Penn State on Friday night.

John Petty had 13 points and five rebounds, and Tevin Mack totaled 11 points and four rebounds for the Crimson Tide (8-3), who have won three straight.

''This our best defensive performance, from a defensive efficiency standpoint, against an outstanding basketball team that will have a chance to make it to the (NCAA) tournament,'' Johnson said.

Penn State made one of its last 10 shots. It also hit just two of its last 16 3-point-attempts. But thanks in part to five early 3-pointers, the Nittany Lions (6-6) took a commanding 23-9 lead, only to see Alabama counter with its best run of the season.

Sparked by graduate student Riley Norris, who missed the start of the season after having a cardiac ablation procedure for an abnormal heart rhythm, the Crimson Tide went on 24-0 run over 7:25.

Down 33-27 at halftime, Penn State had yet to shoot a free throw (Alabama was 3 of 5) and leading scorer Lamar Stevens had been limited to just four points. The junior forward finished with 12 points, which was enough to move into the Nittany Lions' top 20 of all-time scoring, but he was 6 of 19 from the field, missed all six of his 3-point attempts and had five turnovers in 39 minutes.

''They're long,'' Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said about Alabama's defense. ''I think sometimes we get stagnant, though.''

Penn State did manage to come back and last led 54-53 with 7:58 remaining before Alabama pulled away. Trent Buttrick topped the Nittany Lions with a career-high 13 points.

Alabama won its second game at Coleman Coliseum against a Power 5 conference opponent in 12 days, having defeated Arizona 76-73 on Dec. 9. They also came on the heels of a collapse against Georgia State, 83-80, when the Crimson Tide blew a 21-point lead at home on Dec. 4.

''I still have a bad taste in my mouth,'' Johnson said. ''Give (the players) credit that they were able to bounce back, not drop their heads. That didn't look like the same team that played three weeks ago when we gave up that lead.''

HE SAID IT

''We complained too much in the first half. That was my halftime speech. I didn't like how we complained but not getting the calls. That's not our DNA. We did a better job of just staying focused in the second half.'' Johnson said after Alabama was called for 11 fouls compared to 20 for the Nittany Lions, who made all five of their free-throw attempts.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Hall had two of the biggest emotional moments in the game. One was on a powerful dunk that brought the 10,142 fans to their feet. The other was taking a loose ball and making a no-look pass to Mack, who promptly drained one of his two 3-pointers. When asked if he taught Hall that pass, Johnson was quick to answer ''no.''

BIG PICTURE

With both programs looking like they could be bubble-destined for the NCAA Tournament, the outcome could end up being worth a lot more than just a regular win. Although Penn State is off to a 0-2 start in Big Ten play, the Nittany Lions came in eighth nationally in nonconference strength of schedule. As a league, the Big Ten is 3-2 against the SEC this season.

UP NEXT

Penn State hosts UMBC to wrap up its nonconference schedule on Dec. 29.

Alabama will visit Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 30 to complete a home-and-home series.

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Key Players
L. Stevens
J. Petty
31.9 Min. Per Game 31.9
11.4 Pts. Per Game 11.4
2.2 Ast. Per Game 2.2
4.9 Reb. Per Game 4.9
42.1 Field Goal % 41.0
17.9 Three Point % 33.3
76.5 Free Throw % 73.5
  Defensive rebound by Herbert Jones 9.0
  Lamar Stevens missed 3-pt. jump shot 11.0
+ 1 Herbert Jones made 2nd of 2 free throws 16.0
  Herbert Jones missed 1st of 2 free throws 16.0
  Personal foul on Myreon Jones 16.0
  Defensive rebound by Herbert Jones 18.0
  Lamar Stevens missed 3-pt. jump shot 20.0
+ 1 Kira Lewis Jr. made 2nd of 2 free throws 30.0
+ 1 Kira Lewis Jr. made 1st of 2 free throws 30.0
  Personal foul on Myles Dread 30.0
  Defensive rebound by Dazon Ingram 27.0
Team Stats
Points 64 73
Field Goals 26-68 (38.2%) 28-53 (52.8%)
3-Pointers 7-25 (28.0%) 4-10 (40.0%)
Free Throws 5-5 (100.0%) 13-21 (61.9%)
Total Rebounds 34 38
Offensive 9 5
Defensive 24 27
Team 1 6
Assists 16 11
Steals 8 4
Blocks 6 7
Turnovers 10 12
Fouls 20 11
Technicals 0 0
13 PTS, 4 REB
17 PTS, 11 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo Penn State 6-6 273764
home team logo Alabama 8-3 334073
Team Stats
away team logo Penn State 6-6 69.7 PPG 40.2 RPG 12.2 APG
home team logo Alabama 8-3 72.0 PPG 41.2 RPG 12.3 APG
Key Players
35
T. Buttrick F 1.7 PPG 1.2 RPG 0.2 APG 35.9 FG%
0
D. Hall F 10.5 PPG 8.8 RPG 0.5 APG 61.6 FG%
Top Scorers
T. Buttrick F 13 PTS 4 REB 0 AST
D. Hall F 17 PTS 11 REB 1 AST
38.2 FG% 52.8
28.0 3PT FG% 40.0
100.0 FT% 61.9
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 12 4 3 6/19 0/6 0/0 2 39 0 2 5 0 4
J. Reaves 9 6 3 4/10 1/4 0/0 1 38 1 1 0 2 4
M. Watkins 6 8 2 3/5 0/0 0/0 4 15 2 1 1 2 6
R. Bolton 3 1 1 1/2 1/1 0/0 0 16 0 0 1 0 1
J. Wheeler 0 3 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 4 17 0 1 1 1 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 12 4 3 6/19 0/6 0/0 2 39 0 2 5 0 4
J. Reaves 9 6 3 4/10 1/4 0/0 1 38 1 1 0 2 4
M. Watkins 6 8 2 3/5 0/0 0/0 4 15 2 1 1 2 6
R. Bolton 3 1 1 1/2 1/1 0/0 0 16 0 0 1 0 1
J. Wheeler 0 3 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 4 17 0 1 1 1 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Buttrick 13 4 0 5/5 3/3 0/0 2 20 1 0 1 1 3
M. Jones 11 1 3 3/16 0/4 5/5 1 21 3 0 1 0 1
M. Dread 8 1 1 3/7 2/6 0/0 3 15 0 0 0 0 1
J. Harrar 2 5 2 1/3 0/0 0/0 3 19 1 1 0 3 2
S. Pierce - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Zemgulis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hazle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Nussbaum - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Brockington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Kasatkin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. McCloskey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 64 33 16 26/68 7/25 5/5 20 200 8 6 10 9 24
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Hall 17 11 1 7/10 0/0 3/3 0 29 0 3 0 4 7
J. Petty 13 5 0 5/7 1/3 2/3 1 28 0 0 3 0 5
T. Mack 11 4 0 3/6 2/4 3/4 2 23 0 0 3 1 3
H. Jones 8 4 2 3/7 0/0 2/4 2 28 3 3 1 0 4
K. Lewis Jr. 7 1 4 2/7 0/1 3/4 2 29 1 0 1 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Hall 17 11 1 7/10 0/0 3/3 0 29 0 3 0 4 7
J. Petty 13 5 0 5/7 1/3 2/3 1 28 0 0 3 0 5
T. Mack 11 4 0 3/6 2/4 3/4 2 23 0 0 3 1 3
H. Jones 8 4 2 3/7 0/0 2/4 2 28 3 3 1 0 4
K. Lewis Jr. 7 1 4 2/7 0/1 3/4 2 29 1 0 1 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Norris 7 0 0 3/4 1/2 0/1 0 18 0 0 1 0 0
D. Ingram 6 4 4 3/6 0/0 0/2 2 24 0 0 2 0 4
A. Reese 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 1 1 0 1
G. Smith 2 0 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 2 9 0 0 0 0 0
A. Johnson Jr. 0 2 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 7 0 0 0 0 2
L. Schaffer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Giddens - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Barnes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Wood - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Davis-Fleming - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 73 32 11 28/53 4/10 13/21 11 200 4 7 12 5 27