Alabama lost a heart-breaker to No. 8 Creighton 85-82 to drop their second game in a row to a top-10 ranked team in the country.
For the second game in a row, Alabama played with intensity and battled back and forth with a top-10 team but came up just short of pulling off the upset. A struggle to make three-pointers and foul trouble prevented Alabama from avoiding back-to-back defeats.
Here are some takeaways from the game.
Points in the Paint
Early in the first half, Creighton’s starting center, Ryan Kalkbrenner, went down with an ankle injury that led to Alabama taking advantage of the vacant paint. As a top-five three-point shooting team in the nation, Alabama normally does their scoring from behind the arc, but the Tide feasted inside the paint on Saturday. Alabama utilized the pick-and-roll and lob passes to finish the game with 62 of their 82 points scored in the paint.
No Answer for Kalkbrenner
After leaving the first half with an ankle injury, Ryan Kalkbrenner returned in the second to provide a spark to the Creighton Bluejays. Kalkbrenner only logged 24 minutes but utilized his time on the court finishing with 19 points and eight rebounds. He was also a force on defense, altering Alabama shots and recording three blocks.
Foul Trouble Again
For the second game in a row, Alabama battled foul trouble. While some foul calls have been questionable, the main struggle has been guarding the other team’s big man without fouling. As a result, Alabama had two of their front-court players foul out and three others finished with three fouls each. Just like the prior game, there was a huge discrepancy in fouls between the two teams, with Alabama being whistled for 25 fouls to just 16 for Creighton.
Three-Point Shooting Struggles
On Saturday, Alabama was held to a season-low three-point makes. The Crimson Tide were only able to hit four of their 22 three-point attempts for a modest 18%. Alabama’s previous low this season was eight. While Alabama’s shot was ice-cold from behind the arc, the success in the paint also helped contribute to the lack of made three-pointers.
Next up for Alabama is a trip to Phoenix on Wednesday, December 20, to battle Arizona.
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