TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Freshman Kira Lewis Jr. scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half to help Alabama beat Murray State 78-72 on Monday night.
John Petty Jr. added 16 points while Alex Reese and Dazon Ingram each scored nine points for Alabama (5-1). The Crimson Tide picked up 29 points from its bench while Murray State's reserves scored just 11.
Ja Morant poured in 38 points for Murray State (3-1). Morant, who shot 55 percent from the floor, played so well that Alabama fans gave him a standing ovation after a late put-back dunk.
The Crimson Tide knocked down 23 of 30 free-throw attempts, including eight straight in the final 25 seconds to hold off the Racers.
Murray State: It was a close loss against one of the two SEC foes the Racers will face this season, including No. 8 Auburn on Dec. 22.
Alabama: It was a quality win over a team that went 26-2 last year, including 16-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference, and made the NCAA Tournament.
Murray State resumes play on Saturday with a home game against Prairie View.
Alabama gets a couple of days off before hitting the road to face UCF on Thursday night.