HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Donta Hall made all six of his shots from the field, scoring 21 points as Alabama eased past Liberty 84-75 on Tuesday night in the neutral-site Rocket City Classic.
A pair of players enjoying a homecoming of sorts helped lift the Tide (7-3) to their second consecutive victory. Kira Lewis Jr., a freshman guard making his first hometown appearance as a collegian, scored 17 points and fellow Huntsville product sophomore John Petty added 16 points, all but two in the second half.
Caleb Homesley scored a career-high 23 and Scottie James collected a season-high 20 points with 11 rebounds for Liberty (9-3).
Alabama, with a 10-4 edge at the free-throw line, took a 34-33 lead into halftime. Petty canned a pair of 3-pointers in the first 1:42 of the second half, enabling the Tide to create some breathing room. He and Lewis combined for 13 of Alabama’s 15 points in one stretch.
Hall took advantage of some inside mismatches for his six field goals and went 9 for 11 from the foul line. Alabama shot 25 for 39 from the line, compared to 14 for 17 for the Flames.
Alabama: The rather comfortable margin of victory for the Tide was a welcomed one. Alabama’s last five games had been decided by six points or fewer, with the Tide going 3-2. However, there was a one-point differential at 10:35 of the second half before a 13-4 Alabama run.
Liberty: This was the second loss to an SEC team for Liberty, which previously fell to Georgetown.
Liberty: The Flames face Alabama State on Friday morning in the St. Pete Shootout in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide host Penn State on Friday.