Bamba blocks five shots as Texas beats Alabama, 66-50

Texas center Mohamed Bamba finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots Friday night, leading the Longhorns’ 66-50 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

In the game played at Birmingham, Texas point guard Matt Coleman also played well.

Coleman scored 13 and helped limit Alabama freshman Collin Sexton to eight points, 13 below his Southeastern Conference-leading average.

The Crimson Tide (8-4) are coached by former Spurs point guard Avery Johnson, who watched from the side as the Longhorns (9-3) put on a defensive clinic.

With the 6-foot-11 Bamba protecting the basket, Texas held Alabama to a season-low in points on 34 percent shooting from the field.

Coleman and Kerwin Roach II guarded the perimeter and aided in limiting the Tide to 3 of 15 shooting from 3-point distance.

Sexton was hobbling at the end of the game, favoring his left leg.

Bamba struggled on the offensive end in Texas’ last game, a 47-46 victory at home on Monday against Tennessee State.

Against Tennessee State, he finished 1-for-8 from the field and scored four points.

Asked by ESPN’s Seth Greenberg the difference between his performance Monday and what he did against Alabama, he said, “Just an aggressive mindset.

“My teammates didn’t really get too down on me,” he said. “They just told me they wanted more out of me. That’s what I decided to give ’em.”

Bamba blocked a shot at the outset of the second half, ran the floor and dunked on the other end.

Later, he defended a shot on the 3-point line, and took off again. Bamba received a behind-the-back pass and dunked two-handed.

“I thought our guys did a great job on the defensive end,” Texas coach Shaka Smart told ESPN. “They’ve got some terrific offensive players. Our guys really honored the scouting report, did their best.

“They made some tough shots, but we never dropped our head and kept battling.”