TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Furman head coach Bob Richey said Alabama freshman Jaden Shackelford has one of the quickest triggers he’s ever seen on film.
Shackelford showed off that trigger, scoring 25 points off the bench, and Alabama picked up its second victory of the season with an 81-73 win over Furman on Tuesday night.
Shackelford scored 14 points in the first half behind a hot shooting streak of three 3-pointers within minutes of each other.
“He had those three in a row, and I thought that was a difference in the first half,” Richey said.
Javian Davis scored the first basket of the night for the Crimson Tide (2-2), and Alabama maintained the lead for almost 16 minutes of the first half, heading into intermission with a 34-31 advantage.
The Paladins (4-1) started the second half on an 11-2 run behind eight points from Jordan Lyons. After only scoring two points in the first half, Lyons exploded offensively in the second half.
Lyons finished with 33 points, including six 3-pointers. He was 13 for 13 from the free-throw line.
With the game tied at 50, Alabama head coach Nate Oats picked up his second technical foul of the season. Lyons made both free throws for Furman.
Alabama responded by scoring the next eight points and never gave up the lead.
“We all came together (after the technical) saying, ‘let’s lock in, let’s close it out,’ so that’s what we did,” said junior guard John Petty Jr., who finished with 16 points.
Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama’s season scoring leader, scored only two points in the first half and picked up his third foul with 18:03 left. However, his scoring came alive in the second half, and he finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Furman forward Clay Mounce, who leads the Paladins in scoring with 15.5 points per game, had 10 points in the first half, but only scored one basket in the second half and finished with 13.
Furman: Furman attempted a whopping 41 3-point field goals but connected on only 27% of those baskets leading to too many empty possessions for the Paladins.
Alabama: Earlier this week, Oats said Alabama needed to clean up their turnovers. The Tide still finished with 22 turnovers, a stat they will need to improve upon during their trip to the Bahamas next week.
Furman: The Paladins look to rebound from their first lost and will host Columbia International Friday night.