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Alabama takes on Liberty, seeks to build win total

alabama-takes-on-liberty,-seeks-to-build-win-total

Alabama needs to start chalking up victories, and beating any team with an impressive record would be a good step.

The Crimson Tide (7-5) will try to do just that when they take on Liberty (10-3) on Saturday afternoon in Birmingham, Ala., as part of the C.M. Newton Classic. Officially, it’s a neutral site, but it probably won’t seem that way to Liberty.

Alabama, coming off a 111-67 win over Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 23, will be seeking its first consecutive victories since Nov. 14 and 17 against South Alabama and Mercer.

“It’s just good for our confidence,” Alabama guard Grant Nelson said, referring to the win over Eastern Kentucky. “It’s just tough. Everyone is trying to figure out what’s going on.”

It’s time to start winning regularly if the Crimson Tide want to be a factor this season. The Liberty contest will be the final tune-up prior to Southeastern Conference play.

The Eastern Kentucky victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Alabama.

“We needed a win like that,” coach Nate Oats said. “It would be nice if … we put 40 minutes together, but we’ll take 36 after the three-game stretch we had.”

Liberty (10-3) hasn’t played since a Dec. 20 victory at Utah Valley. The Flames shot 60.7 percent from the field in that game.

“I think we built a little confidence early by scoring the ball and trying to take advantage of what the defense was giving us,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said.

All of the Flames’ 10 victories have come by 10 or more points. Alabama will be the highest-profile opponent to date for Liberty since their 83-58 loss to a ranked Florida Atlantic squad on Nov. 30.

Several contributors have emerged for Liberty. Kyle Rode leads the scoring with an average of 13.7 points, followed by Kaden Metheny with 11.7. Joseph Venzant leads with 8.2 rebounds, and Zach Cleveland is averaging 10.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

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