Riley Norris could hear the crowd rumbling in Coleman Coliseum.
Norris’ first attempt bounced out. Alabama needed one point to finish with its first 100-point game against a division I opponent since 2005, but only 40 seconds remained and the crowd seemed to know his second free throw attempt might be the team’s last chance.
The silence before his second shot was broken by cheers from the crowd.
“Not too much [pressure was on that free throw],” Norris said. “We had two great practices [since Dayton].”
Alabama’s 105-93 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette was exactly what the team needed. The Crimson Tide looked like a completely different team from the one that had taken the court earlier this week in the Crimson Tide’s 80-48 loss to the Dayton Flyers.
“For us to come and score over 100 points after struggling so much on the road that says a lot about the mental toughness of our young team,” coach Avery Johnson said. “[Scoring 100 points] it means a lot because that’s something that we talked about even when I was getting interviewed. We want to play an entertaining brand of basketball.”
Norris’ free throws might have been what got Alabama into triple digits, but the team could not have done it without great 3-point shooting. The team finished 15-25 when shooting the three.
The Crimson Tide actually cooled off a little bit after starting out 7-7 beyond the arc. Retin Obasohan and Shannon Hale both set new career-highs for made 3-pointers finishing the night 4-5 and 5-6 respectively. Both players also scored more points than either had all of last season.
“I think it [the team’s success shooting the three] was just a concentration thing coming off the Dayton game,” Norris said. “I think we were ready to go tonight.”
Not to be left out several of their teammates also set new career highs. Norris made a carrer-high number of free throws and set a new career high in points scored with 18. Justin Coleman recorded a career-high eight assists in addition to tying team leaders Hale and Norris in points scored.
“Our biggest goal is to play like the Spurs and how the Spurs move the ball,” Coleman said. “Moving the ball good to great, the team made good shots.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports