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2016-17 MAC Basketball Recap: Alabama routs Ball State, 77-59

Cardinals stayed with ‘Bama early, but the Crimson Tide turned up the pressure in the second half, and washed away the Cardinals.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s bench put on a show, with three players from the Crimson Tide bench scoring in double figures to put away Ball State, 77-59 on Friday night.

Ball State was able to contain the Tide in the early minutes, but once Alabama had their second unit on the floor, things took a quick turn.

Holding just a 13-12 lead halfway through the first half, it looked like Alabama wouldn’t be able to pull away from the Cardinals.

That’s when things changed.

The Crimson Tide used a 23-9 run to take a 36-22 lead in route to holding a ten point advantage at the break.

The run was largely fueled by the Tide’s bench, with Avery Johnson Jr, Braxton Key and Shannon Hale all reaching double figures off the bench for Alabama.

Hale led all scorers with 19 for the game. Ball State was led by Taylor Persons with 15. Trey Moses and Franko House also reached double figures for the Cardinals.

Alabama crushed any chance for a comeback right as the second half started, as the Tide used a 12-4 run in the half’s first four minutes to take a 48-30 lead.

Alabama shot exceptionally well from behind the arc, shooting 52.5% for the game, as the Cards shot under 25% from three-point land.

The win moves Ball State to 1-2 on the year, while Alabama moves to 2-1.

Next up, the Cardinals go to Las Vegas to battle Coppin State, while Alabama travels to Vegas as well to take on Valparaiso.